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A case of the roll mops

I met morganlf for dinner on Tuesday, our last chance to get together while we were both in the country. She picked a pancake (i.e. crepe) house, My Old Dutch Pancake House, an experiment for both of us. The crepes turned out to be intimidatingly massive, so it was a relief when the server sensibly suggested sharing them. This meant we manage three courses, sharing an appetizer platter, a bacon-apple-maple syrup crepe main, and a lemon-and-sugar one for dessert.

The appetizer platter was scheduled to have five ingredients. The menu explained the potato-nutmeg meatballs and the deep-fried cheese balls. We already knew our cheeses, edam and gouda. What neither of us knew was what a roll mop was. The platter was due to come with more than one. We guessed literally: a roll to mop up the grease wth?

When the platter arrived, the waitress mumbled something about the chef giving us extra meatballs because they'd run out? run low? Something to do with fish? We weren't sure what. From context, we guessed they'd run low on cheese balls, and had given us extra meatballs in compensation. The platter comprised a dressed leaf salad, surrounded by lovely greasy cheese and meat balls, substantial slices of cheese, and a pile of thin slices of a smooth, rich, cured meat. By elimination, therefore, the sliced meat had to be the roll mops. (Although we still weren't sure quite what the waitress had said.)

Our deduction made perfect sense under the circumstances, but now - having come home and looked it up - I know that that's not what roll mops are at all! They're pickled herring rolled up around a piece of cucumber or onion, a kind of herring canapé. Summer Isles Foods - last heard from here as purveyors of whisky-cured salmon, sell ready-made ones.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 14th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
So maybe the roll-mops were the missing fish? So they gave us meat? I am so confused!
Sep. 14th, 2007 09:09 pm (UTC)
The meat remains a mystery. I wonder what kind it was? I really liked it, whatever it was.

So yes, we were right in thinking we might have heard her say "fish", and fish is what roll mops are.
Sep. 14th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)

Sep. 14th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
Roll mop herrings are yummy! They shouldn't be - I mean, cold pickled fish stuffed with onions? No! But they are... :-)

BTW, the plant you bought me as a house-warming present is enormous now! It currently has seven huge flower-heads, and I'm sure is at least twice the size it was when you first gave it to me. Thanks so much for it - it really makes me smile whenever I walk past it.
Sep. 14th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
For a moment, from your description, I thought the plant was plotting to take over your house/yard/porch. But if it's merely thriving, that's okay! I'm glad you and the plant are happy together.
Sep. 14th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
roll mops are originally scandinavian, iirc. ikea has them in lots of different sauces - the tomato one is ok but i prefer the mustard.
Sep. 14th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
Rollmops are lovely, though there are other kinds of pickled fish I like more. I really, really adore pickled fish. It's about the best non-vegetable food there is.

Was the pancake house the one in Holborn?
Sep. 14th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
That's the one.

I've never actually been hugely fond of pickled fish, although I now feel as if I must sample roll mops to find out what we missed out on.
Sep. 15th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
I got addicted to them as a kid when we hung out in Finland. I still think Finnish herring products are quite wonderful.
Sep. 15th, 2007 09:08 am (UTC)
Lidl do some really nice pickled fish in dill'n'cream, mustard and other sauces.
Sep. 15th, 2007 12:45 pm (UTC)
The roll-mops would have had the effect of cutting some of the grease of the cheese things, I think. They do something similar in Scandinavian countries, though with a rather wider variety of dressings, while I think roll-mops are peculiarly English. I rather like them.
Sep. 15th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Well, hopefully the restaurant will have them should I ever go back. (Or perhaps I will encounter them elsewhere. I'm intrigued now.)
Sep. 15th, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
Waitrose in Canary Wharf may well sell roll-mops in the little bit of refrigerated kosher food.

Failing that I can bring you some from Hendon sometime.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )