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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Smoking of fish

Smoking is often used to preserves and flavor meat, fish, and cheese, etc.  It is likely the practice of smoking meat and fish outdates the art of cooking in containers, as open-fire contact (roasting) with food must have been the earliest form of cooking even before earthen ware pots were made.

The importance of wood as fuel, with wood smoke as an integral part of that and perhaps later its utilization in food processing is tied to the same aspect of civilization.

At a dig in Bishkupin, Poland, scientists discovered a fish scales and bones of bass, bream, catfish, pike and roach showed the site to be an eight or tenth century fish smoking plant, which prepared large catches from Biskupin Lake for a large population.

Smoking foods is one of the most ancient food preservation process and in some communities one of the most important. Native Americans of the East Coats and Caribbean preserved fish and haunches of venison by stretching them over cane or wooden racks above a slow, fragrant fire of grass, herbs and mesquite or hardwood.

When Spanish expeditioner Hernando De Soto reached Tampa Bay, Florida, he studied the Timucua method of building strong wood scaffolds over the fore for the roasting of deer, dog, alligators, fish and snake.

Fish could easily be smoked. Before the invention of the chimney, houses normally had thick smoke above head level, slowly finding its way to the smoke hole. Hanging gutted fish on the rafters lightly preserved it by drying and partially cooking it.

More modern methods of smoking fish us formulation of liquid smoke to provide flavor and a range of methods of drying to reduce water activity on the surface. Most drying methods use heat to change the relative humidity of the air passing over the fish.
Smoking of fish

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