Whenever I see tiny fish like whitebait or sardines, I think of the fresh smelt my father used to fry. I don’t know where he bought them but there was a season and he would come home with large sacks of unfrozen, small, whole smelts that he fried “hard” so that you could eat the head, bones and all without a squeamish pang. Lovely.
I found these smelt at the Super Duper Market and even though they were frozen, headed and gutted, I couldn’t resist. No they didn’t have that just-out-of-the-water fresh taste, but I could taste the memory.
Instead of reaching for a jar, I prepared some easy tartar sauce to combat any frozen, cardboard, fishy taste these smelt might have. After all, Pennsylvania is landlocked and these fish had to travel. Bummer that I couldn’t find the French cornichons but substituted with small dills. This worked out okay but…
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