Ancient methods of preserving fish included drying, salting, pickling and smoking. All of these techniques are still used today but the more modern techniques of freezing and canning have taken on a large importance.
Fish curing includes and of curing fish by drying, salting, smoking, and pickling, or by combinations of these processes have been employed since ancient times. On sailing vessels fish were usually salted down immediately to prevent spoilage; the swifter boats of today commonly bring in unsalted fish. Modern freezing and canning methods have largely supplanted older methods of preservation. Fish to be cured are usually first cleaned, scaled, and eviscerated. Fish are salted by packing them between layers of salt or by immersion in brine. The fish most extensively salted are cod, herring, mackerel, and haddock. Smoking preserves fish by drying, by deposition of creosote ingredients, and, when the fish are near the source of heat, by heat penetration. Herring and haddock (finnan haddie) are commonlysmoked. Kippers are split herring, and bloaters are whole herring, salted and smoked. Sardines, pilchards, and anchovies are small fish of the herring family, often salted and smoked and then preserved in oil. Fish are dried under controlled conditions of temperature, humidity, and air velocity. Since the dried product is relatively unappetizing and rehydrating slow, other preservation methods are common