When you think of a European fish delicacy, I can pretty much guarantee the last fish that you’ll think of is herring. Despite being an awesome source of vitamins and minerals, this small, oily fish is often overlooked in favour of its more famous, sexier fish cousins, like tuna or salmon. But, that hadn’t always been the case. For centuries, herring was one of the most important fish foods and even played a pivotal role in the history of marine fisheries in Europe. Since at least 3000 B.C. herring was a staple food source for many European cultures.
Who knew, right?!
Even today, herring plays an important, but understated role in many European cuisines. Whether eaten raw in the Netherlands, fermented or fried in Sweden or pickled throughout much of Scandinavia, Germany, and Central and Eastern Europe, herring is still enjoyed all across Europe.
Somewhere throughout our travels, my travel partner and boyfriend Dave developed a taste for herring. It started as a curiosity which only grew with each city we visited. Very quickly it became a tradition for us to seek out the best herring stand in each city so Dave could sample the local fares and provide me with his review. After having eaten the fish in its various forms in six cities across five countries, I’ve decided that Dave is pretty much an expert in herring. That’s a thing, right?
While we were on holidays in Canada, and his workload was minimal, I politely requested (aka begged, pleaded and hounded him) that he share his experiences of eating herring throughout Europe with the world. Thankfully my charms (and unrelenting nagging) won him over.
So here you have it: Petite Adventures’ resident herring expert, Dave, tells you everything you need to know about eating herring in Europe. Continue reading