Herrings, sprats, sardines and whitebait

These all belong to the same family – herrings are the largest; sprats and sardines in the middle; and whitebait are tiny little fish that are eaten whole.

They all have a similar texture and flavour – why people will die to get hold of fresh sardines but ignore herrings will always be a mystery to me as herrings are the same as sardines but with lots more succulent flesh on them.

Truly, though, this group all have a wonderful gutsy flavour and are delicious shallow- or deep-fried, grilled or barbecued. Herrings are also very good baked in the oven.This group of fish are not oily in the way we use the word but they do contain a certain amount of precious substances called omega-3 fatty acids, which are said to help reduce heart disease – so much so that it is recommended that everyone eats some of this type of fish once a week.

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