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General Discussion

Fried Whitebait and Smelts?

zackly | Dec 9, 202005:16 AM     16

I love deep fried smelts. They, as well as dried cod, (bacala) are traditional around here (suburban NYC) at Italian restaurants during the Christmas season. I've even caught a few through the ice in my younger years. I read where "fried whitebait" are big in England. As I kid living on Long Island Sound we caught tons of whitebait (AKA spearing) in drop nets as bait for "snapper blues", juvenile bluefish. Never thought to eat them although the "ethnics" Italians, Greeks, Asians and Latinos took them home for the table. Is whitebait a catchall term for many types of small fish including smelt or a separate specie? How do they compare culinary speaking? Thanks!

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