Choose sprats with a silvery appearance, brightness being a sign of freshness. They are best from November to March. Supplies are rather erratic, as they are affected by weather.
Sprats should be cooked very fresh. Wipe dry; fasten in rows by a skewer run through the eyes; dredge with flour and grill under a red-hot grill. The grill rack should first be rubbed with suet. Serve very hot, with cut lemon and brown bread and butter.