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They are everywhere, you can see Dutch national flaglets of red, white and blue at their entrances: Fish stores selling fresh and pickled all kinds of fishes, but the best of them all is the herring! Our favorite shop (because they prepare it well) is Hollandse Nieuwe (Dutch new herring).

Fresh from being hauled out of the ocean, herrings are gutted on board the fishing boats. The fish butchers expertly remove head and innards, save for the pancreas. An article about this process said: “The pancreatic enzymes do most of the conservation so that the brine they are kept in needs much less salt. This could explain why Dutch herring is so much more flavorful than other salted or pickled herring varieties in the rest of Europe.” Oh-huh!

Dutchie marveled at the fact that when in Holland, I can eat one haring everyday! This is how we nourish our bodies when traveling: a bowl of berries with yogurt and a herring a day can keep the doctor away!

Upper right: That was Dutchie eating with gusto: “How delicious!,” he exclaimed. (May papikit-pikit pa noh, my phonecam captured it.) He was eating it like an Amsterdammer would— cut into pieces, atop a bed of sliced pickled gherkins and chopped onions. Before he bites, he will rub more of those flavours into the fish! Sometimes he likes it herring-in-a-bun (like the hotdog bun.)

Bottom right: That was me, eating a haring by the tail, head back down! (Regarded as Rotterdam or The Hague way of eating this delish fish). Also served atop a bed of chopped onions and sliced pickled gherkins. Somebody asked me: “Ano yan, butiki?” (Is that a lizard?) Ngiiii.


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