Sesame Fish Snacks

Jay's International Foods
3172 S. Grand Boulevard

Apr 11, 2007 at 4:00 am
Sharks make news. Mountain lions make news.

Anchovies do not make news.

Don't ask me why this is. In sheer numerical terms, the anchovy has these other species beat. It stands to reason, then, that the humble anchovy would be more likely to make the papers. And yet....

And yet whenever a shark or mountain lion attacks, there it is: An eight-inch column imparting the gory details. This is no mere conjecture; I can document the anchovy news prohibition.

A simple search of U.S. newspapers reveals that the phrase "mountain lion attack" popped up a whopping 692 times in the past five years. The phrase "shark attack" tilts the search engine, forcing it to cry uncle with more than 3,000 results during the same time frame.

How many times did the phrase "anchovy attack" occur?


The last time anchovies really got any ink was in September 2006, when a school of millions beached itself off the coast of northern Spain. These were small fry (even for anchovies), and supposedly if the fish had lived to maturity the school would have tipped the scales at more than 100 tons.

Meanwhile, one shark attacks one surfer off the coast of Florida and CNN's on it for hours.

You get my drift.

With such an obscure fish, what's to stop a crafty candy maker from lopping its head off, splaying it down the middle and shellacking it with a sugary, sesame seed-encrusted coating and marketing it as Sesame Fish Snack?

The result — crisp, slightly sweet, a bit spicy with a hint of salt — isn't at all objectionable. In fact, these Sesame Fish Snacks don't taste very fishy and are a little like a crisp version of the splendid Joyva Sesame Bars.

That is, until I've consumed two or three of them and the sweet and spicy sesame-seed ephemera have vanished from my mouth. It's then that the Sesame Fish Snack reasserts its piscine essence.

Erupting — or rather, eructing — in a gaseous cloud redolent of dried sprats, my Sesame Fish Snacks return with a message from the deep: Sesame Fish Snacks are not candy. They are dried fish tarted up with sesame seeds and sugar.

But what does it matter if these Sesame Fish Snacks have a "message?" They're anchovies, and nobody pays attention to anchovies.