Sometimes smaller is just as flavoursome and impressive as its larger counterpart, as our four examples of global dishes using delicious yet diminutive sea dwellers attest. 
By
Alison Drover

4 Apr 2013 - 11:13 AM  UPDATED 30 Mar 2021 - 5:18 PM

Recipes

United Kingdom 

Deep-fried whitebait with cayenne pepper
Whitebait, which are young herrings, first appeared on British menus in 1612 and soon became so popular that people would travel down the Thames to Greenwich (a district in south London where there was an abundance of whitebait) to dine on it.

Malta 

Grilled garfish with roasted potatoes (imsell mixwi)
Maltese food is influenced by the country’s proximity to Sicily and North Africa, and offers rustic and simple dishes with robust flavours as a result. Culturally, fish is important in Malta and fish-based dishes are often served to mark religious ceremonies.

Italy 
Garlic and anchovy dip (bagna cauda)
From the northern Italian region of Piedmont, this dish – which literally translates as 'hot bath’ – was a popular peasant snack to replenish vineyard workers at the end of a long day.

Greece
Sardines with sultanas and breadcrumbs (sardelles sto fourno)
The Aegean Sea remains the source and inspiration for many Greek dishes, despite its diminishing stockpile of species. Sardines are one of the most popular, and cheapest, seafood varieties, especially in late summer.

Photography by Brett Stevens