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BBC – Travel – The tiny fish that founded St Petersburg

In St Petersburg, there is one unmistakable sign that spring has sprung: the smell of cucumber-scented fish wafting through the air. Koryushka, a small but hearty fish, are more than just an unusually scented local delicacy – they were integral to St Petersburg’s survival during one of the longest and most destructive military blockades in history. 

Often referred to by its English name, “smelt”, these flat, slightly translucent fish spend most of their lives in salt water off the coast of St Petersburg. When the waters warm and the koryushka are fat…

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