What is a Kipper?
Kippers are smoked Herring
The curing process
Kippers are smoked Herring. Once in the factory, the Herring are put into a splitting machine, which splits them along the back from head to tail, guts and cleans them. The Herring are soaked in a brine mixture and then put onto Tenter Hooks, hung on racks and smoked in large smoking kilns. Each batch of Kippers are smoked according to the size of the fish and their oil content.
The origin of the kippering process is uncertain, but development in Peel, on the Island's west coast in the 1870's, indicates the earliest date. Some believe the inspiration for kippering might lie in split-smoked finnan Haddock processing.
Locals refer to their early 'Spuds and herring' economy. Fishermen call them the King of the Sea or "Ree ny Marrey" in Manx Gaelic. In the 1840's records show that almost twelve million Herring a year made their way from sea to local table. Traditionally, you would place mashed potato on a wooden platter with your Herring with a small cup of butter. You would then dip both the Herring and potato in the butter. Fingers rather than cutlery were best!