Then And Now
In terms of value and volume mackerel is now Scotland's most important fish catch. It wasn't always so popular, in fact it used to be classed as the lowliest of fish and even Shakespeare said in Henry IV 'You may buy land now as cheap as a string of mackerel'.
How things have changed. In the 1980s our mackerel was only really popular in Eastern Europe and our catch was sold directly to the huge Klondyker factory ships where it was processed. Now the humble mackerel is so highly prized worldwide that Scotland does most of it's own processing then sells over £150 million worth of mackerel to countries from Japan to Poland, China to the Ukrane.
Mackerel is fished sustainably, not only to maintain stocks for human consumption but because it is a vital element in the food chain for seabirds and larger marine animals.
Fun Facts And Figures
Mackerel are bluish green with wavy stripes (they line these up with eachother when swimming in schools which means they can go faster and some schools can be over 20 miles long. Mackerel have a slim body and a forked tail.
They weigh between 4 - 10lb .
They can measure between 12" and 22" long.
They eat smaller fish, shrimp and squid.
Mackerel Is Good For You
Mackerel are a great sourse of Omega 3 fatty acid and also contain magnesium, Vitamins B, D, A and B6, Calcium, Potasium, Selenium and Iron.
Mackerel can be bought fresh, smoked (sometimes spiced too) or in tins. It can be fried, baked or grilled and served stuffed, seasoned, with sauces or simply with lemon. It can be used in everything from fishcakes to kegeree.
Check out our Pinterest Board for lots of super easy mackerel recipes.
Smoked Mackerel Pate
Smoked mackerel pate is super tasty, healthy and very easy to make.
450g smoked mackerel fillets
75g cream cheese
75g creme fraiche
1-2 tbsp creamed horseradish
dash of Tabasco sauce
Juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
* * *
Remove skin from the fillets and flake them into food processor
Add all other ingredients and pulse till you get a slightly rough paste
Serve chilled on crispy bread, toast or crackers
You can also just do this using a bowl and a fork to mash the fish and blend everything together.