Mmmmm ... smell that? Smell that warm, buttery air? That, friends, is the savory, silky aroma of fish sticks in the oven. That's right, compadres. Let it wash over you like a golden-fried rain cloud. Breathe deep. You want a fish stick. You need a fish stick. Where the hell are you going to find your next fish stick?? Calm down. We're with you, our little fish fiends. We know that with so many fish sticks in the sea, it's hard to reach your own conclusions about battered fish snacks. You need help. That's why we're here.
You see, we've assembled a crack team of Alibi staffers just to help you through this. These renaissance men and women include Paul Sessa, Nathan Paolinelli, Tom Nayder, Steven Robert Allen, Christie Chisholm, Katy June-Friesen and Simon McCormack. These people are considered some of the great thinkers of our time—and why? Is it because they read books or appreciate the arts? Of course not! It's because they eat fish sticks—sometimes weekly.
And so my distinguished colleagues and I set out to selflessly sample these reconstituted jewels of the sea so that, someday, you too may know their exquisite pleasure. A few ground rules of the tasting: First, all entries had to be purchased frozen. Second, all fish sticks that were chosen had to be available locally (not bought online or through mail order catalogues). Third, we confined our scope to fish "sticks," though there was a small mountain of nuggets, tenders, fillets and "portions" we could have sifted through. Finally, we judged our sticks on several key characteristics that included appearance, texture, breading, fish and overall flavor. Our selections appear below listed in the order that we sampled them. Dive in!