Bakskuld – traditional Danish salted smoked dabs

Ribe 194

South West Danish smoked, salted and dried dab.

In 2014 the traditional South West Danish speciality bakskuld boarded the Slow Foods Organisatons Arc of Taste, the world heritage list for food. Through decades the abundant bakskuld has been a staple in the diet of the inhabitants of the Danish Wadden Sea area. Back in the day there was so many flatfish in the waters surrounding Fanø and in Ho Bugt that you could wade out and step the fish – tread on the flatfish, pick them up by hand and through them over your shoulder into a basket, but most were line-caught.

Today the speciality is produced by a handful of smokeries in the region. Smoker Allan Winther makes some of the best Bakskuld at Havnens Fiskehus in Esbjerg. He has been smoking fish since he was 10 years old and producing bakskuld for the past 20 years. Allan sources the fattest best dabs form the fishing habours at Hanstholm and Hirtshals. The fish are cleaned and beheaded, soaked in a saltwater solution and then cold smoked hanging on racks over beech sawdust for 24 hours and then additional dried.

On the island of Fanø Bakskuld were traditionally eaten accompanied by “kaffepunch” black coffee with aquavit.The bakskuld is nowadays typically eaten as a lunch dish skinned, butter fried and served with Danish rye bread and remoulade a traditional Danish Tatar sauce accompanied by a good local beer and aquavit.

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