Fried smelt...at least my daughter loved it

There are a few reasons why I started this blog. Aside from my passion for food and cooking, I want to give my children a record. I want them to learn about food, appreciate food and discover the world, themselves and their mother through my culinary adventures.

Growing up in Montreal in the 70s the supermarkets did not carry the exotic assortment of food you find today. I remember my mom and dad packing us into the car, driving downtown and visiting China town to buy all kinds of exotic fruits you couldn’t find anywhere else.

From a young age my parents made me discover fruits that today are readily available at your supermarket but that I still find most people won’t dare to try much less give to their kids to try. Kaki, star fruit, lychees, quince, guava and passion fruit are but a few of my favorite exotic fruit.

One of the goals of this blog is to try new recipes and new foods that I’ve never tried before and in so doing open my children’s eyes and palates to new tastes and cultures.

Today I was in the mood for fish. After picking up the princess, I headed for the supermarket to purchase some fresh tilapia for supper. Of course my ever curious and adventurous daughter was smitten by the tiny fish behind the glass. I asked the lady what they were and how to cook them and with my daughter’s pleading gaze upon me, decided to give them a try.

SMELT

You have got to love Google! When I got home I promptly researched all there is to know about smelt and how to cook the little buggers. Easy enough…batter, fry and enjoy. Of course I was multi-tasking and texting my Chinese co-worker at the same time and she was all excited about fried smelt or duō chūn yú …at this point I’m thinking YES THIS IS GOING TO ROCK!!!

I get my daughter to wash her hands and help me batter the smelt and get them ready for their oil bath. The princess is soooooooo excited. First I mixed some flour with salt, pepper and a bit of turmeric (because it’s good for you). Then Olivia rolled the smelt in the flour. I then dunked them in a mixture of egg and milk and Olivia rolled them again in the flour mix.  Into the fry pan they went in a mix of EVOO and butter and once they were beautifully golden brown they were done. Of course Olivia was the first to try the little buggers, then the hubby and then me. Need I say Olivia was the ONLY one who liked them. Oliver compared them to eating cod liver oil; a little exaggerated if you ask me, but close. They are nowhere near the mild taste of tilapia that we are used to and not as fantastic tasting as salmon. Yet my princess promptly went on to debone every little one of those buggers and devoured them all.

The whole point of this adventure was that we tried something new. Some of us did not like the little buggers and one of us LOVED smelt.  On to our next adventure!

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