Danger Kitchen
Danger Kitchinski

A Sprat Sandwich... Just Like In Old Country


An easy quick meal with the flavor of Eastern Europe
Contributed by Bob Devlin


Ingredients:

1 can of Riga Gold smoked sprats ( imported from Latvia )
4 slices soft white bread
Margarine... or softened butter


Protocol:

Spread bread ( both sides ) with margarine or butter to taste
Arrange the sprats across the bread alternating head to tail
Top with remaining bread slice and enjoy

Optional:

Try topping the sprats with paper thin slices of red onion.

Emergency... Everybody to get from street!

Notes:

     A few days ago, Bob Devlin asked me if I had ever tried sprats. I hadn't. A sprat or, in this case, a Baltic sprat is a small sardine-like fish that thrives in Eastern European waters. Yesterday he asked me if I'd like to try a sprat sandwich. I'm always interested in foods from different countries so I was eager to try one. I'm hooked... or in the case of the sprats, netted. The rich smoky flavor of the fish is reminiscent of smoked oysters or mussels. The creamy consistency of the fish works well with the soft white bread. Don't mess it up by trying this on some crusty designer bread. This works perfectly just the way it is.
     The sprats used are Riga Gold and are imported from Latvia. This would be perfect with an Anchor Steam, Geary's Pale Ale, Dale's Pale Ale or maybe even an Old Chub Scottish Style Ale. I'm tempted to try a little crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola on top with some red onion. Maybe shoot it under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese a bit. That might work with some more substantive bread. Bob might consider this heresy but... that's why its called Danger Kitchen now isn't it?

Links:

      Visit the Baltic Sprat wikipedia entry to learn more about the tasty little suckers. For more detailed ( way more ) information about sprats, visit the fishbase.org web page devoted to Sprattus sprattus sprattus. Check out the "Official" Riga Latvia web site and plan a vacation. It looks like a great place to visit.
      Anchor Steam was the first microbrewery product I ever tried. Tom Crowe brought some back from San Francisco when he visited his sister in 1977. It's been one of my favorites ever since. I tried Geary's Pale Ale with blackened ( aquaculture ) salmon in the Cannery Restaurant in Eastport, Maine in 1987. It was my first taste of farm raised fish, a new industry to Eastport, and my first taste of Geary's. You have to serve it in a pilsner glass or it doesn't taste like much at all. Eastport is as "Down East" as you can get. The Canadian radio station you get there is in a different time zone. That meal was so great I was back again a few days later for the best baked stuffed lobster until Johnnies on the Beach in Newport, Rhode Island... and more Geary's Pale Ale.
      My liquor store owner friend in Easthampton, CT was happy to oblige my request for Geary's and had a steady stream of customers ask for it including a truck driver from Georgia that was delivering parts to the Connecticut Yankee Nuke plant on the Connecticut River near by. Unfortunately it seems the Cannery has been replaced by the Eastport Chowder House. They have a cheesy looking crab or lobster logo but... they give latitude, longitude and GPS coordinates on the home page so... maybe they don't suck. Maybe. The Waco Diner seems to have suffered the same fate. It was one of the great breakfast places near the water. As good as Blacked-Eyed Susan's on Nantucket. I ate there in 1988. I remember it like it was yesterday.
      Oskar Blues Cajun Grill and Brewery in Lyons, Colorado brews Dale's Pale Ale and Old Chub Scottish Style Ale and puts the results in cans. CANS you say!!! Yes cans. It works... Trust me. Both are delicious.
Riga Gold Smoked Sprats from Latvia


Errata:

"Everybody to get from street" is my favorite line from the 1966 movie The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming with Alan Arken, Jonathan Winters and a bunch of other great actors.

Sorry about the busy background. They're sprats... lots of them. It seemed like a good idea at the time.