The Fish That Fell


I’ve known myself to have fallen in love with fictive characters. And my notion of a memorable breakfast is also one, which I’m likely to find only in the pages of a Victorian or an Edwardian novel: a full English breakfast—with kipper.

The fish that was once the consummate British breakfast food has steadily fallen out of fashion. Now, in the modern British Isles, the choice of oily, smoked fish is either mackerel or salmon.

A kipper is a whole herring that’s been sliced in half from head to tail, gutted, salted or pickled, and then smoked.

Kippering was popularized in 1843 by John Woodger, a Northumberland fish processor, and has been a permanent fixture on the Savoy’s breakfast menu since the hotel opened in 1889.

The British capital of kipper-making is the Isle of Man, where family-run curers have been in business since the 19th century.



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