The Fortunes Kippers Process

Smoking is a long-established method of preserving fish and Fortune’s have been producing smoked kippers and smoked fish from the same premises in Henrietta Street, Whitby for over 137 years using unchanged traditional methods which are passed down from one generation of the Fortune family to the next.

Kippers are smoked herrings. Large north-east Atlantic herring are frozen immediately they are caught so that they are in are prime condition when they are delivered to the smokehouse for smoking. Once the fish have defrosted, the fish are split from head to tail, and then are gutted by hand, not by machine. Barry and Derek are such experts at this that they can gut and clean a whole fish in a just a few seconds!

Once the fish have been gutted they are then soaked in a brine solution for 40 minutes as this helps to enhance the unique taste of the finally cured kipper. Once soaked, the fish are taken to the smokehouse, where they are hung on black tarry rods to be cured; this allows excess moisture and oil to drain off the fish during the smoking process.