Friday, July 20, 2007

Shoot, it's fish and a barrel

The culinary offerings in Scotland are, at least by American tastes, different.

That’s not to say bad, just different.

They love their potatoes and black pudding and grilled tomatoes for breakfast.

They’re quick to throw a cucumber slice on a sandwich, too.

But when you go looking for a Scottish delicacy at the British Open, you just follow the smoke. When you find its source, you’ll find Iian Spinks’ original Arbroath smokies.

And you’ll also find a line of people waiting for them. At noon local time Friday, the line happened to include a substantial portion of the American media corps, each taking turns forking over four pounds ($8) for a headless, boneless golden brown haddock on a paper plate.

Spinks’ little tent is set up near the main spectator gate and beside it is half a whiskey barrel dug into the ground and covered with damp Hessian sacking or, what we’d call burlap.

The fish, which hang tied by their tail to a stick before being smoked, cook for about 40 minutes over oak and beech and when they emerge, they’re bronze on the outside and beautiful on the inside.

The bones are pulled out and the fish is handed to you on a white paper plate. You tip it over slightly to drain a little fish juice out and then go at it with a plastic fork.

Wonder if the guy has any interest in coming to the Wachovia Championship?