Smelt anxiety: can I eat this?
April 10, 2013 1:12 PM   Subscribe

I was pickling smelts. First step: brine overnight, rinse. Second step, immerse in vinegar, put in fridge and wait a week to eat. I did step one, but then got interrupted. The brined, rinsed smelts sat out for about ninety minutes - maybe as long as two hours - in a room that was about seventy degrees. I finished step two, but now I am afraid to eat them. I thought due to the brining it might be OK. Can I eat it?
posted by Surprised By Bees to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
I am one of the biggest chickens on MeFi when it comes to these questions, but if these were my smelts, I'd go ahead and eat half of one and see what happened. I think if the smelts were impeccably fresh to begin with, and the brine was strong, then you're almost certainly okay. The thing is that those little fishies are terribly perishable. But I imagine that half of one would tell you what you need to know without sending you to the hospital. Probably this assumption violates some immutable law of food science, but that's what I'd do.
posted by HotToddy at 1:34 PM on April 10, 2013

Best answer: There are smelting recipes including this one from the Pacific Northwest Extension that call for 1 - 2 hours of air drying after brining - see page 2, paragraph 4. When in doubt, I would never hesitate to default to the advice provided by extensions, which are fucking awesome.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:35 PM on April 10, 2013

They're fine.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:16 PM on April 10, 2013

I'd eat them.
posted by quince at 3:46 PM on April 10, 2013

I would eat the hell out of those smelts. Om nom nom.
posted by The otter lady at 3:50 PM on April 10, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks so much you guys. I will eat them!
posted by Surprised By Bees at 4:20 PM on April 10, 2013

Nom nom nom. Too late for the resolution, so glad you're eating them.
posted by desuetude at 9:26 PM on April 10, 2013

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