23 July, 2008

Fishy Delights 16: Roland Herring Fillets in Mushroom Sauce

The herring fillets in Roland's Herring Fillets in Mushroom Sauce are pretty good: Fairly generous in size, tender, thin-sliced and flaky. It's rather unfortunate, then, that they decided to smother them in such a peculiar "mushroom sauce."

The ingredient listing shows herring fillets (from wild-caught herring,) water, flour, canola oil and/or soybean oil, mushrooms, modified starch, sugar, salt, spices. I presume that just about everything after the "herring fillet" in that list is an ingredient of the sauce but even now, poking tentatively at my fishy lunch with a fork, I can't be sure. The fillets are surrounded by a golden-colored oil, and there are gelatinous blobs of whitish-looking stuff clustered all around. The white stuff isn't very sauce-like - it's more like the white fatty stuff that people from Away don't eat when they crack open a lobster.

I drained off the oil and tipped the contents of the can out onto a plate. The fish was good (not too salty, maybe even a little bland) and the blobby white stuff was not so good (really bland, felt funny on my tongue, and had some kind of weird mildew-like flavor that I bet was supposed to be the mushrooms.) All of the mushrooms listed in the ingredients were probably right there, invisibly pureed into the sauce, because there weren't any chunks or slices to be found.

If I were pressed to rate these, I'd probably give them a 5/10. It's not that they're not bad, it's just that the sauce is flavorless and superfluous and tinned herring are so much better smoked.

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