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Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish

Raw materials/Variety/Race

Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish PGI are defined as fillets of cod and haddock, weighing between 200 and 700 grams, which have been cold smoked in accordance with the traditional method within the defined geographical area.

Method of working/Cultivation/Breeding

Fresh whole fish are usually sourced from Iceland, Faroe and Norway and are filleted by hand by skilled filleters. The filleted fish are then immersed in brine, for 10 to 15 minutes and then drained on metal rod racks. Then the fish fillets are cold smoked very slowly for a rate which is dependent on the size of the fish, but also to a great degree on the ambient temperature and humidity. The fillets are left overnight for a minimum of 8 hours with no heat involved. The fish are then removed from the smokehouses and allowed to cool and then they are packed.

Aspect and Taste

The fillets are cream to beige in colour, with a dry texture and a smoked slightly salty flavour.

Production Zone

Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish PGI is produced in the town of Grimsby, as defined by its administrative boundaries, in the district of North East Lincolnshire.


The tradition and processes involved in the production of the Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish PGI can be proven and demonstrated back to the late 19th century. Grimsby has been synonymous with fish smoking in the UK since 1850 when the railway first allowed the rapid transportation of smoked fish to London and eventually to every corner of the country. At that time, there were no modern refrigeration systems, and that is why the salting, drying and smoking was used. Traditional fish smoking in Grimsby has continued to be successful still today. The port and town regard it as a matter of pride that for over a century the many fish merchants have been able to supply most types of fish to anywhere in the country and more recently even further into Europe. For much of the first half of the twentieth century the port of Grimsby was the largest fishing port in the world.


The Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish PGI can be used as an ingredient in the cooking of omelette Benedict with english butter, cream, salt, pepper, and grated Cheddar cheese, in Kedgeree with Basmati rice, or in a fish pie with potatoes, butter, garlic, milk, tomatoes and grated Cheddar cheese.


The product is sold as Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish PGI. The smoked fillets are sold, as processed, in purpose built cartons (whose weight must not exceed 5 kilos) or in individual vacuum packs.

Distinctive features

The port of Grimsby is unique in England in that it is sited on a promontory, which separates the Humber Estuary from the North Sea. This position exposes the port to cool dry winds off the sea and estuary which aid the process of traditional fish smoking necessary for the production of Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish PGI.

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