Chanquetes is the Spanish for whitebait; undesized or litlle fish caught in the coast of Andalucia which are deep fried following the Arabic customs. In Spain, it is not legal to serve Chanquetes, however, many taverns and restaurants serve them to frequent patrons or preferres customers. Chanquetes are are said to be preserved in either a mix of chemicals or urine. However, despite its very unusual preparation, locals seem to find Chanquetes to be a delicious dish. Moreover, Chanquetes fish are illegal to sell, either in the markets or in the restaurants. The reason for this ban is that the traditional Chanquete, a fully grown but tiny fish, is often caught along with other immature species, such as sardines, anchovies, etc, wiping out breeding stocks before they can grow. The result is that a plate of Chanquetes is usually a mixture of ungrown anchovies, sardines and other fish, quite tasteless compared to the original and often preserved with dangerous chemicals or urine. The ban on Chanquetes made many left confused since Japanese Chanquetes are legally imported in Spain and can be sold in restaurants. This only makes a mockery of current legislation. To help Spain curved out this practice of catching and selling Chanquetes, it is advised that eating Chanquetes be avoided as there are a number of other delicious fish dishes in the country.
List of books: Chanquetes