Dutch Delight: Haring
EM periodically tests typical Dutch foods with help of international students under the name of ‘Dutch Delight’. This edition, Nastia Kalimanova from Moscow, Russia, tastes and reviews Haring (herring). She is exchange student at the ESE faculty.
The traditional herring as consumed in The Netherlands is also known as Hollandse Nieuwe. The herring is typically being eaten with onions – sliced into little pieces – on top of it. The herring has to be salted and ripened in order to be awarded the title of Hollandse Nieuwe. You can also eat the fish in between a bun. June is the best time of the year to consume a herring, as the fish contains most fat and hence taste.
We meet up at Blaak around 12.30. Every Tuesday the weekly marketplace is held at the square in front of Blaak train station. It’s busy at the fish booth. “What’s that?”, Nastia asks while pointing in the direction of baked Kibbeling. “It’s whitebait marinated in batter – and after this, fried. It’s typically being eaten as a snack with sauce”, I reply. After waiting in the cue for a while, it’s our turn to buy a herring with onions.
“It looks similar to the herring in Moscow”, Nastia notes when she glances the herring – she informed me before she is not particularly a fan of the Moscow herring. “It has a filthy aftertaste”.
Herring is generally being eaten by lifting it by the tail, and taking a bite from below. “The way of eating is funny, but I indeed didn’t see any other way”, Nastia remarks afterwards.
The Dutch herring sold at Blaak receives a way more positive review from Nastia than those sold in Moscow. “I like them better than I expected, the taste is pretty soft.”
In Russia, herring is also being eaten after a shot of Vodka. “To not get drunk too fast, you have to eat something immediately after a glass of Vodka”, Nastia explains. “This can also be herring.”
All in all, the herring has opened the eyes to new fish dishes for Nastia. “Yes, I would buy herring again, but it’s not my favorite fish to eat”, she remarks. Nonetheless, it gets awarded 4,5 out of 5 stars. When we say goodbye, Nastia heads back to the fish booth. “The baked Kibbeling is my lunch”, she says.
Score according to Nastia: 4,5
1= I flushed it down the toilet
2= If you bought it anyway, eat it, why not?
3= Quite nice actually
4= Really good food
5= Best food I’ve ever tasted
Would you like to participate in a future edition of Dutch Delights too? Taste a bit of Dutch culture, and mail to email@example.com. LJa