These are packaged in a way as to suggest they're a hearty accompaniment alongside a jug of ale, beware, with regards to a typical British palette these are not for the faint-hearted.
As soon as you open the packet the smell of fish is overwhelming.
It's a dare in itself to reach into the packet and pick one of these dried fish snacks out. They look so much safer behind the security of the window of the silvery packet. Each er, piece of snack, is actually a whole half-filleted fish in itself with the head removed. I imagine they have shrunk considerably through the drying process. Apparently, they are made from Yellow Striped fish (Selaroides Leptolepis) and the only other ingredients are salt and monosodium glutamate (E621). They are quite salty, and if you're not chasing one down with a beer to get rid of the taste you'll be quenching your thirst with one.
Now, I am quite partial to snacking on a tin of sardines, or mackerel, even for breakfast at times. I'll try most kinds of seafood at least once no matter how disturbing or unusual it may look, but I really couldn't eat a whole packet of these. It was a struggle to get through the one, to be honest. I think I could eventually acquire a taste for the flavour at a push, but the worst thing about these is the texture. Unfortunately, they're not crispy, or melt, or soften and break up in the mouth. The dried skin and the wafer-thin nature of the meat make these linger in the mouth longer than bearable. They've got a chewy metallic cardboard mouth feel.
I really wanted to like these. They were such an unusual find and I do like my fish. I wonder if it must have been a mistake they've made their way into the British market. Though no doubt there'll be some extreme fish flavour lovers out there. They're made in Latvia and I can see them being more suited to an Eastern European or Scandinavian palette. Worth a game of "dare" over though with a few pints!
On a more positive note, my cat absolutely loves them!
I wouldn't feed him more than one at a time due to their saltiness but as an occasional treat, he's mad for them!
Review by Matthew Hall via Facebook.
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