Posted by: brigid benson | February 9, 2014

Postcard from: the Broch & the cod chicks

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Fishy Fraserburgh: the largest shellfish port in Europe, among the largest whitefish ports in Europe and the United Kingdom’s largest pelagic port.

This richly historic town about 50 miles north of Aberdeen is a favourite place.

The spirit of locals in the ‘Broch,  as as the town is known, is warm and welcoming towards visitors who bother to wander off the beaten path.

Discover spectacular sealife, immense sandy beaches, Fraserburgh Golf Club, the world’s 7th oldest golf club, founded in 1777 on mighty dunes and the fabulous Museum of Scottish Lighthouses at Kinnaird Head where the Moray Firth meets the North Sea.

Unprepossessing quayside industrial units may seem less of a visitor attraction but don’t miss them; here freshly landed fish is gutted for speedy dispatch to restaurants in faraway London and throughout Europe.

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I went in to buy herring and met Chris who gave me a masterclass in deconstructing cod with  a glinting blade, awesome precision and ferocious speed.

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Nothing is wasted; as the metal sheers the flesh, bits of fish journey onward to blue vats for processing.

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Among the choice cuts are ‘cod chicks’ – or so I thought that’s what Chris said.

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Staring hard at the expensive slivers it dawned on me slowly that in her fabulously rich Doric accent, Chris was talking of ‘cod cheeks’, which along with cod tongue are highly prized morsels revered by customers in Spain. Forget the chicks.


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