Rollmops are a popular English pub snack. I had rollmops on the menu at an English pub, where I was the chef for a couple of years. Pub customers loved to eat snacks while drinking English ale and shooting darts. We had some of the greatest dart players from England, Ireland, Scotland, europe and Australia visit our pub. We were the only English pub that there was for 100 miles in any direction. The pub was the only place in town that had real dart boards and not those frustrating modern electronic dart boards.
During the slow late afternoon hours, I had time to take a break from the kitchen duties. I usually had a pint of ale and chatted with a few patrons during break time. Every time I took a break, I was asked to play a dart game by customer request. I learned every British dart game in the book while working at that pub. My favorite dart games were Big Ones - Little Ones, Burma Road, Canterbury Road, Cricket, 301 and 501. I really liked shooting darts with the visiting dart champions from England who flew into town every couple of months. Its hard to believe how good some people are at playing darts.
The dart pros used to sucker customers into playing a game of darts for a pint of ale wager. There were not many dart pros who paid for their own ale at that pub. I do have to admit, I am a good dart player, but I could not accept a dart challenge over a pint of beer as an employee. So I made a different kind of wager.
When a customer asked me to play for a beer wager, I countered with this: I offered to wager an appetizer like rollmops, buffalo wings or whatever appetizer that appealed to the dart game challenger. I said to the challenger; "If I win the game, you buy the appetizer. If you win the dart game, then I pay for the appetizer!"
My challenge response did work! Customers who asked me to play darts over a beer did not take much time to accept my offer. They usually figured that I was just another typical American that they could sucker into a dart game for an easy win. The opposite was true. I never had to pay for a dart game challenger's appetizer. The challengers who took my offer never won a game. After a few weeks, a customer would ask to play a dart game for a beer and I would counter offer the appetizer wager. The customers response changed to "No thanks. I heard about your offer." My ploy to sell a few appetizers during slow hours by making wagers over dart games came to an end. Nobody would accept my wager anymore.
The dart pros who came in at night time laughed about my afternoon appetizer wager scheme. They would laugh and kiddingly ask how many appetizers I sold every time they came into the pub to shoot darts. I must admit that I did have a hot hand at darts at that time, because I rarely go on unbeaten streaks when shooting darts. Luck just happened to be on my side!
Customers liked the simple rollmops that I served at the pub. Some customers would ask for sour cream to go with the rollmops. Bulk commercial American pickled herring is not the best quality pickled herring. Almost any pickled herring from England or Europe is a superior product. Bulk commercial American pickled herring is usually only available as small cut pieces instead of small whole pickled herring filets. Small pieces of pickled herring are not long enough to completely wrap around the pickle or stuffing in the center of a rollmop. When in America, expect to see half rollmops instead of full size rollmops when you place an order at a pub. The half size rollmops actually are a pleasant small bite size portion.
Roll mops are simply a piece of pickled herring that is wrapped around a piece of pickle and speared with a toothpick.
- Dill pickle pieces are the classic roll mop filling.
- Olives, sweet pickles, roasted red pepper, pimiento, pickled garlic or any pickle of your choice are good options for rollmop stuffings.
The rollmops in the pictures above are stuffed with dill pickle, roasted red pepper, pickled garlic and pickled ginger.
The smooth skin side of the pickled herring should be on the outside of a finished rollmop.
Only a small piece of pickle is needed.
When serving rollmops, try to arrange them on a plate so they look nice.
A simple garnish of pickles and parsley is fine for rollmops.
Rollmops are a healthy snack or appetizer. Yummy too! ... Shawna