Brislings? Pilchards? Sprats? Confused? That’s because brislings were sold as sardines for years, even though they’re not exactly the same fish.
“Sardines” is a term that applies to over twenty different varieties of small fish. Sardina pilchardus comes from the Mediterranean and are tender, meaty and light. That's not what we have here. These little fish from the waters off the coast of Denmark are Sprattus sprattus. Called brislings or sprats (those terms are totally interchangeable), they have a denser texture and stronger flavor than Mediterranean true sardines. Sprats are often smoked, which is the case here.
The tiny fish go from the dock to cannery in hours where they’re cleaned, cooked, smoked over beechwood then packed in local rapeseed oil. No longer in the shadows, living under an assumed name; these sprats can finally be enjoyed by tinned fish lovers everywhere.