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“It’s good to go back to your roots”

The Campsie Glen Smokehouse blends centuries-old traditions with clever innovation to create its celebrated cured fish. Susan Low travelled to the outskirts of Glasgow to meet ‘seafood charcutiers’ Duncan and Cathie Smith


Duncan Smith has the charm of a born storyteller. As he explains in his lilting Hebridean accent how he and his wife Cathie created their business, I’m transported to the Isle of Lewis, their childhood home. Despite the romantic name, Campsie Glen Smokehouse is in a light industrial unit in a suburb north of Glasgow. Across the way is a laundry and, around the corner, Mr Bubbles Car Wash. But as Duncan speaks, I’m hearing the cry of gulls and feeling the Hebridean sea breeze (the penetrating drizzle falling outside is real enough).


“I remember the days before domestic refrigeration on the island,” he recalls. “When you had a glut of fish, the only method of preservation was curing, salting, then drying. Every household had their own way. We had a peat-burning stove that was on all day, so the attic space above it was always warm and dry. At the end of curing time we’d hang up the fish to dry – there would be haddock, pollock and cod. Once dried, it was like cricket bats and, before using, it had to be steeped in water to rehydrate and remove the salt. That was my introduction to curing.

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About delicious. Magazine

The May issue of delicious. has everything you need for the best bank holiday feasting, with a laid-back brunch, juicy tarragon roast chicken, proper lemon curd sponges and more. If you’re planning a walk, be sure to pack the brilliant picnic dishes from River Cottage’s Gill Meller. You’ll also find homemade scampi, duck ragù, good-for-you veggie ideas and easy midweek meals, plus the rules and recipes guaranteed to lift your cooking to the next level.