Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Exotic/Disgusting Foods and Beverages Forum--Icelandic Capelin Eggs

     Millionaire that I am, today I dined on some caviar.  Ha!  Just kidding, sort of.  This archaeologist is far from being rich.  But technically, I'm telling the truth.  I had some fish eggs, just not the ridiculously expensive Beluga sturgeon kind (currently going for about $3200-$4500 per pound, or $7000-$10,000 per kilo!).  "Caviar"is obviously a catch-all term for fish eggs.  (Incidentally, I learned something surprising recently.  My parents told me that when I was 7, I might have had actual Beluga caviar.  On a trip back from England, we were fortunate enough to be on a luxury liner, the Queen Elizabeth 2, which provided some for guests.  My parents couldn't recall exactly, but evidently, if I did have some, I didn't like it.  But back then I was not very experimental in trying new foods.  So I'd like to give it another chance, as an adult with a (slightly) more refined pallet.)
     Capelin are small fish (adults average 20-25 cm. in length) in the smelt family.  They live in the North Atlantic/South Arctic Oceans, in the area around Iceland.  They're an important food source for many animals, such as squid, mackerel, seabirds, whales, and seals.  And they are the major food source for cod.  They're mainly caught during spawning, when they swim into shallow waters around beaches.
     As I mentioned in a previous post (See July 30, 2013 post), I find fish eggs (roe) to be hit and miss.  Flying fish eggs (called tobiko in sushi restaurants) I enjoy, and salmon eggs are also tasty.  However, lumpfish caviar I find revolting.  Way, way oversalted.  (And I've said this before, but seriously, Google image "lumpfish," and I think you'll agree that they're on the short list of World's Ugliest Creatures.)  So going in I was unsure of what I would probably think.
     The black capelin eggs I got, (from Season Brand, distributed by The Manischewitz Co. out of NJ) looked like largish black grains of sand.  To get the full effect, I tried them plain, and then on Wheat Thins crackers.  Both ways turned out to be good.  They were salty, but not overpoweringly so.  I did prefer them on the crackers, but plain wasn't bad.  They had a slight pop to them, a ghost of a crunch.  They were expensive (about $4 for a 2 ounce jar), but not ludicrously so.  I certainly recommend them.  And I've already gone back and bought more.  Sometimes they're available in sushi restaurants, as substitutes for the flying fish roe.  And if you're watching your weight, the entire jar was only 30 calories, and 1 gram of fat.

     Also, I'm glad to report that "Creepy Campfire Quarterly Volume 1" is doing very well.  It went as high as #3 on Amazon's list of horror anthologies for Kindle books, and last I checked it was still at #29.  It has three reviews so far, and all were positive (all were 4 out of 5 stars).  Word on the street is that the book may be reviewed by a national horror magazine, so fingers crossed.  Before I neglected to mention the book's price, so I'll provide that here--the Kindle edition is $2.99, and the paperback is $7.20.

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