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 Blind Robins

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HPlatz

  • Total Posts: 103
  • Joined: 8/2/2007
  • Location: State College, PA
Blind Robins Sun, 08/5/07 9:35 PM (permalink)
Who remembers or has ever eaten one of these bar snacks? For the uninitated, Blind Robins were always sold in bars. They were on a card display hanging on the wall with the pistachios and alka-seltzer, but as innocently intriguing as the name or package may be...tread with caution with these babies. They were sold in little packages maybe the size of a pack of sunflower seeds, but what you are about to experience is pickled herring impregnated with brine to the point that they were one of the stone-cold NASTIEST "snacks" I've ever tasted. I suppose the goal was (like most bar food) to have a lot of salt in the snack so as to evoke more rapid purchases of beer from the patron, but these aren't your canned sardines, folks. These were one step to the right of disgusting. These things would gag a billygoat. They really, literally stunk BADLY and tasted worse. I never met a person who admitted liking them, but there were always a few bags missing from that old card of Blind Robins behind the bar. Somebody had to be buying them. They have a website if you google it but there's nothing on it. There's another google entry describing them as one of the top ten worst snacks ever. They may have stopped making them.

Regale us with your Blind Robins stories! Mine is: I once ate one and never will again unless forced at gunpoint.
 
#1
    Pat T Hat

    • Total Posts: 968
    • Joined: 5/2/2006
    • Location: Butler, KY
    RE: Blind Robins Sun, 08/5/07 9:48 PM (permalink)
    Somewhere on here I wrote a post on these fish jerkies.

    I know guy's who would carry them in their pockets to snack on while working. Execellent for the salt but oh the aroma after some hot August sweating!

    They will in fact draw flies like roadkill.

    I see them as salted rotten bait drying on a rock...not my cup of tea (or fertilizer).
     
    #2
      Foodbme

      • Total Posts: 9528
      • Joined: 9/1/2006
      • Location: Gilbert, AZ
      RE: Blind Robins Sun, 08/5/07 10:44 PM (permalink)
      I've seen them in Bars back in PA but never ate them.

      Just noticed----- I JUST WENT OVER 700 POSTS!
       
      #3
        Geno Vino

        • Total Posts: 1
        • Joined: 4/3/2009
        • Location: youngstown , OH
        Re:Blind Robins Fri, 04/3/09 4:39 PM (permalink)
        Oh Yeah ! Blind Robins!! I think they were sold in every bar in Youngstown, Oh. Especially the old mill bars...Hollywood Tavern, the International, Top Hat Inn, Coconut Grove, the Greenspot Cafe, the Flat Iron..... They were like vitamins to us ..... I used to eat one or two every time I hit a bar....I knew one guy who made a sandwich out of them, rye bread only........they could cure the common cold, fix your eyes if they were crossed, get rid of any malady you had ,...along with your friends..... God Bless
        Blind Robins .... wonder if they are still available . It's been years since I had one..... I think they have the ability to last longer than Twinkies............
         
        #4
          Niagara

          • Total Posts: 983
          • Joined: 2/26/2006
          • Location: Topeka, KS
          Re:Blind Robins Fri, 04/3/09 5:43 PM (permalink)
          I loved Blind Robins - we used to eat them at Duger's Tavern back home, a real dive bar across the street from the iagara Falls Gazette - we'd drink there on friday and saturday nights when I was in college and  worked at the Gazette loading trucks. Never ate the pickled eggs, though.
           
          #5
            Pancho

            • Total Posts: 915
            • Joined: 10/20/2004
            • Location: Madison, WI
            Re:Blind Robins Fri, 04/3/09 6:14 PM (permalink)

            I still eat Robins and all that other "nasty" bar food....I love the gizzards in the huge jars as well as the eggs and pig's feet. It's an adventure!
             
            #6
              ericback

              • Total Posts: 1
              • Joined: 3/3/2010
              • Location: Chandler, AZ
              Re:Blind Robins Wed, 03/3/10 1:55 AM (permalink)
              I was born in British Columbia to Finnish immigrants and my family loved Herring, Salmon, and Cod.  We also used to get smoked Oulachons from the native fishermen every fall.  About 20 years ago I found blind robins for sale at the local "Superstore' in Edmonton and found them a little too salty but tasty nevertheless.  Recently, while living in Phoenix AZ., I was able to order them from an online fishmonger in the Mid-West.  They still taste great though I can only eat a half a herring at a time.
               
              #7
                jashar160

                • Total Posts: 1
                • Joined: 12/25/2010
                • Location: Marion, OH
                Re:Blind Robins Sat, 12/25/10 5:52 PM (permalink)
                I enjoy blind robins occasionally. I first tried them in the late 50s at a small party store in Marion,Ohio.Kroger's and Meiher's used to sell them in a tray. I think that they went over like a turd in a punch bowl. A little goes a long way. Have plenty of beer to wash tham down. They remind me of salty fish jerky.
                 
                #8
                  kishkaeater

                  • Total Posts: 102
                  • Joined: 12/18/2010
                  • Location: Flagstaff, AZ
                  Re:Blind Robins Mon, 12/27/10 4:42 PM (permalink)
                  I've never heard of them.  I think I remember seeing dried out salmon jerky hanging near pistachios.  Where these possibly Blind Robins?
                   
                  #9
                    mar52

                    • Total Posts: 7593
                    • Joined: 4/17/2005
                    • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                    Re:Blind Robins Mon, 12/27/10 4:45 PM (permalink)
                    Add me to the never heard of them list.
                     
                    Maybe they got turned back at our agricultural stops.
                     
                    #10
                      Michael Hoffman

                      • Total Posts: 17805
                      • Joined: 7/1/2000
                      • Location: Gahanna, OH
                      Re:Blind Robins Mon, 12/27/10 5:29 PM (permalink)
                      I don't think I've ever seen blind robins in a bar, but I remember my grandfather bringing them home from the delicatessen. They were not in small packages, though. They were usually about six to eight inches long, each, and wrapped in paper. He'd get blind robins and smoked sturgeon and smoked whitefish, along with lox and chopped herring.
                       
                      #11
                        dimmie2

                        • Total Posts: 238
                        • Joined: 12/17/2010
                        • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
                        Re:Blind Robins Mon, 12/27/10 5:54 PM (permalink)
                        Never seen them in any bar I've been to.  In fact, never heard of them and they don't appear to be the type of snack I'd like. 
                         
                        #12
                          gascap

                          • Total Posts: 1
                          • Joined: 1/3/2011
                          • Location: Greenville, SC
                          Re:Blind Robins Mon, 01/3/11 7:45 PM (permalink)
                          back in the early 1960s I was a very picky little child. My father would take my mother, sister and three brothers to a little fish restaurant in northeast Ohio. It had a bar that sold Blind Robins. I would sit and gnaw on one while the rest ate real food. I loved them! About 15 years ago I found them in a store in SC and bought a few. Either they have changed or I have because they made me sick. I haven't seen them since but I'd still eat one of I did!
                           
                          #13
                            pudd750

                            • Total Posts: 4
                            • Joined: 10/20/2011
                            • Location: wacousta, MI
                            Re:Blind Robins Thu, 10/20/11 7:50 PM (permalink)
                            totally fond memories of these salty lil rascals-  good n smokey,  a little too salty for my stomach on a daily basis,  they can still be found in many places  in Mi including a cheese/party store in bulk form in Pinconning Mi - tho lately what i dont like about them is the ribs (they are included in the fillet) refuse to change shape- i have to pick a couple ribs out of my mouth per bite - pretty salty fish jerky
                             
                            #14
                              CLVdog

                              • Total Posts: 53
                              • Joined: 12/7/2004
                              • Location: Coplay, PA
                              Re:Blind Robins Fri, 10/21/11 2:21 AM (permalink)
                              I remember them here in Pa. There also was a similar snack called Salmon Sharpies which as much as I recall tasted the same. One time in the early 80s my friends and I were bar hopping and stopped at a place in the Allentown burbs that had one of the two. I ordered one, looked and it had big white spots on it. I asked for my money back (already having opened it) and the bartender obliged and said he would eat it as it was only kosher salt. No way !!!!!!! I wonder if he got sick ?
                               
                              #15
                                fatdoc

                                • Total Posts: 13
                                • Joined: 10/30/2009
                                • Location: Fort Wayne, IN
                                Re:Blind Robins Fri, 10/21/11 6:31 AM (permalink)
                                I certainly remember blind robins, but not as a snack in bars.  I am from the North central Ohio town of Mansfield.  Every neighborhood had small grocery store with a butcher shop/deli.  Blind robins, the whole filet, could be purchased.  Many times my father would buy them as a snack to be eaten right there in the store.  Some times when you were at the butcher counter with your parents, the butcher would lean over the counter and hand the kids a, store made, fresh wiener as a treat.  This was in the early 1950s, before lawyers were allowed to reproduce unchecked.
                                Mike
                                 
                                #16
                                  lleechef

                                  • Total Posts: 6212
                                  • Joined: 3/22/2003
                                  • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                  Re:Blind Robins Fri, 10/21/11 6:47 AM (permalink)
                                  I know that my father used to eat them.  I was a kid, but I think he occasionally ate them at home and took them with him hunting.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Foodbme

                                    • Total Posts: 9528
                                    • Joined: 9/1/2006
                                    • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                                    Re:Blind Robins Fri, 10/21/11 3:46 PM (permalink)
                                    I remember Blind Robins. Never ate one, but remember seeing them in Beer Joints.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Phildelmar

                                      • Total Posts: 788
                                      • Joined: 3/19/2006
                                      • Location: Newark, DE
                                      Re:Blind Robins Fri, 10/21/11 3:57 PM (permalink)
                                      I remember eating them many years ago. It was tough to get past the salt.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        ann peeples

                                        • Total Posts: 8317
                                        • Joined: 5/21/2006
                                        • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
                                        Re:Blind Robins Fri, 10/21/11 9:19 PM (permalink)
                                        Gosh, its funny you all are talking about these. Love them! I know the salt was a bad thing, but frankly, I could have a salt lick in my back yard and give the deer a run fot their money.Loved the saltiness of the blind robins!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                         
                                        #20
                                          ChrisOC

                                          • Total Posts: 901
                                          • Joined: 7/9/2008
                                          • Location: Ocean City, NJ
                                          Re:Blind Robins Sat, 10/22/11 8:53 AM (permalink)
                                          I used to love Blind Robins.  I haven't seen them in years, but once in a while I find smoked herring at the supermarket.  I find them delicious, but I am sure the salt content is not good for you.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            sylvan_tree

                                            • Total Posts: 2
                                            • Joined: 4/26/2012
                                            • Location: Westerville, OH
                                            Re:Blind Robins Thu, 04/26/12 1:17 PM (permalink)
                                            I discovered this thread because, well, actually...a few weeks ago, I had a taste for 'blind robins'. Where I grew up though, they were referred to as 'smoked/salt herring'. Reading most of the comments here, I have to say that I think that eating, and enjoying, this particular food item is a definite acquired taste. If not acquired well before the age of ten, the delicious taste of blind robins is lost. I acquired it at an early age because my Dad was of Scandinavian ancestry. I think my mother (of Germanic ancestry) was open to the idea and went along with it, if only to keep the peace in the family. There are worse things that a spouse can do, than to eat an occasional blind robin, after all.. So, this undeniably fishy-food-product was at least tolerated, if not promoted, in the household of my youth, and that is how I was initially exposed to it. I think my Scandinavian heritage was the true reason why I have always enjoyed them since.
                                             
                                            What really brought me to the Roadfood site this day though, is that I had been having a hankering for this particular food item, but I hadnt been able to find them for several years now. So imagine my surprise (delight!) when I opened the door to my brother's refrigerator, and there was a package of these salty, dried, smoked fish!!!! Paradise Lost and Found, all at once!!
                                             
                                            Now, I could have interrogated my brother until he revealed the source of the coveted morsels, but since he wasnt around when I made the discovery, and realizing that the package could disappear as quickly as it had appeared, I made note of the label on the package. Using the internet, I researched until I discovered they had come from an independant grocer about 25 miles away. It was like realizing that the 'girl-next-door' has been 'the one' all along. Ok, maybe not quite like that, but I think you know what I mean.
                                             
                                            Of course, the thought as to why my brother would have been in that particular part of town crossed my mind, but his personal business was quickly dismissed as I realized that my own prize was in sight! I had only a half-hour drive or so to make to obtain my own blind robins! But first, after reading some (half?) of the comments on Roadfood (which became part of my search) I decided that before I struck out on my quest for salty fish-iness, I would make this comment. And now I have, and so I am off! Within the hour, I expect to be snacking on that most salty, fishy and dry of food items!! Wish me well, fellow Roadfooders!! YUM!
                                             
                                             
                                            #22
                                              Michael Hoffman

                                              • Total Posts: 17805
                                              • Joined: 7/1/2000
                                              • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                              Re:Blind Robins Thu, 04/26/12 2:54 PM (permalink)
                                              I saw, and almost bought, some at Wholey's in Pittsburgh last Friday.
                                               
                                              #23
                                                kevincad

                                                • Total Posts: 399
                                                • Joined: 1/23/2008
                                                • Location: Snellville, GA
                                                Re:Blind Robins Thu, 04/26/12 3:08 PM (permalink)
                                                HPlatz


                                                Who remembers or has ever eaten one of these bar snacks? For the uninitated, Blind Robins were always sold in bars. They were on a card display hanging on the wall with the pistachios and alka-seltzer, but as innocently intriguing as the name or package may be...tread with caution with these babies. They were sold in little packages maybe the size of a pack of sunflower seeds, but what you are about to experience is pickled herring impregnated with brine to the point that they were one of the stone-cold NASTIEST "snacks" I've ever tasted. I suppose the goal was (like most bar food) to have a lot of salt in the snack so as to evoke more rapid purchases of beer from the patron, but these aren't your canned sardines, folks. These were one step to the right of disgusting. These things would gag a billygoat. They really, literally stunk BADLY and tasted worse. I never met a person who admitted liking them, but there were always a few bags missing from that old card of Blind Robins behind the bar. Somebody had to be buying them. They have a website if you google it but there's nothing on it. There's another google entry describing them as one of the top ten worst snacks ever. They may have stopped making them.

                                                Regale us with your Blind Robins stories! Mine is: I once ate one and never will again unless forced at gunpoint.

                                                 
                                                I remember them! They were smoked Herring.  When I was a kid they were in bars everywhere and I hated even the smell of one! Now that I'm old I like smoked fish so I may well like them. Check this out:
                                                 http://www.blindrobin.com/home.html
                                                 
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  Ralph Melton

                                                  Re:Blind Robins Mon, 04/30/12 11:09 AM (permalink)
                                                  I really enjoyed sylvan_tree's post. I love reading such wholehearted food enthusiasm. I hope you found your Blind Robin bliss.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Whoopee43

                                                    • Total Posts: 1
                                                    • Joined: 5/31/2013
                                                    • Location: Ocala, FL
                                                    Re:Blind Robins Fri, 05/31/13 11:08 PM (permalink)
                                                    Grew up in Erie, PA. Supposedly more bars per capita than any other city in the US.  My dad, and uncles took my brother and I to several growing up.  Coke, blind robins and hard boiled eggs was the menu of the day.  Haven't had one in years, but liked them as a kid. Miss those good old days. Great topic!
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      Foodbme

                                                      • Total Posts: 9528
                                                      • Joined: 9/1/2006
                                                      • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                                                      Re:Blind Robins Sat, 06/1/13 3:03 AM (permalink)
                                                      Blind Robins are/were the "Food of the Rust Belt".
                                                      Every bar close to an industrial area HAD to have them.
                                                      The food of the working man. Blue Collar Gourmet Food!
                                                      Come off the "HOOT OWL", head to the bar outside the plant gate, order a Boilmaker,a couple of pickled eggs and a Blind Robin, play the punch cards and head home. 
                                                      The REAL Breakfast of Champions!

                                                      <message edited by Foodbme on Sat, 06/1/13 3:12 AM>
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        Root-Beer Man

                                                        • Total Posts: 331
                                                        • Joined: 1/9/2006
                                                        • Location: Noblesville, IN
                                                        Re:Blind Robins Sat, 06/1/13 12:13 PM (permalink)
                                                        Well, I'm a big fan of Kippered Herring, so I'm willing to bet I'd like this iteration of the snack. Never have seen them offered anywhere I've been, tho.
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          pudd750

                                                          • Total Posts: 4
                                                          • Joined: 10/20/2011
                                                          • Location: wacousta, MI
                                                          Re:Blind Robins Sat, 06/1/13 2:33 PM (permalink)
                                                          Moreys still has them, a forgiving Moreys  retailer may get them in for you ,  or they can be got online here      (you CAN smell them thru the saran wrap- yum)  - always an excuse for me to run up 23 to Pinconning 
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            pudd750

                                                            • Total Posts: 4
                                                            • Joined: 10/20/2011
                                                            • Location: wacousta, MI
                                                            Re:Blind Robins Sat, 06/1/13 2:34 PM (permalink)
                                                            well that didnt work -  look up Pinconning cheese co. 
                                                             
                                                            #30
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