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Eating Raw Herring in Holland

Eating Raw Herring in Holland

on Mar. 13, 2015 by

Dutch herring is one of those typical traditional snacks that you must have tried during a visit to Holland.

RAW herring in a bucket in Volendam, Noord Holland, Netherlandsthe 'fishwoman' at Haven Volendam in Volendam, Noord Holland, Netherlandscleaning the herring for consumption in Volendam, Noord Holland, Netherlandsdutch RAW herring in Volendam, Noord Holland, Netherlands

Raw Herring has been my favorite Dutch snack ever since I was a toddler, especially with freshly chopped onions and pickles.

dutch fish sandwiches at Harbor Volendam in Volendam, Noord Holland, Netherlands in Volendam, Noord Holland, Netherlands

Herring has been a staple dish for many generations, especially in the western parts of Holland.

eating RAW herring in Holland in Volendam, Noord Holland, Netherlandseating RAW herring in Holland

The most popular ways of eating Dutch herring are the 'Rotterdam'-style by grabbing the entire fish by the tail and lower it down your mouth. The 'Amsterdam'-style way is to cut the fish in pieces and use a tiny fork to eat it this is because in the colonial times, Dutch business men couldn't make their hands dirty by touching raw fish, it would make all the paperwork stink.

Here are some facts regarding herring

  1. A fourth of the herring consists out of fat, and can turn 10 years old.
  2. The traditional way to prepare the fish is called 'kaken' in which the fish is salted and turned into a fillet.
  3. Maatjesharing is derived from 'virgin' meaning the herring is caught right after mating season.
  4. It is traditional to eat the herring by the tail and dangle it above your head before consumption.
  5. Is herring health? Yes, we have a saying 'Haring in the LAND, doktor aan de KANT' which means; when herring is in the country than the doctor hasn't got a thing to do. Herring is stuffed with high quality Omega-3 fats and high quality protein.

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