Vis Tales

Herring is very popular in the Netherlands, and I think the first batch to arrive is considered some of the best. That batch has arrived.

This weekend, while checking out one of the nearby streets where there are lots of handy shops, including the pet shop, we saw a popular fish shop. We stood in front of the window and drooled over all of the fresh seafood, including crawfish. Today, we decided to go back and get some. I made a crawfish and corn dish served over mashed potatoes with smoked gouda, although in this case, I used a really nice Beemester cheese instead, since they didn’t have smoked gouda.

While we were in the shop, we decided to get a couple of fillets of the new herring. When we’d been there before, we saw a couple walk out of the shop with a couple of herrings in hand and begin to eat them right then and there. They’re served raw, except for a natural “cooking” process using brine. They’re served simply with raw onions. Although they’re quite fishy, I decided to give it a shot. It’s definitely the kind of thing you should take a few bites of, but eventually, I started to sort of like it. The raw onions, and some bread and butter, make it much nicer. I’m not sure I will ever crave it, but I can see myself eating it on occasion. I’m quite proud of myself, because it’s not necessarily something I’d usually like. I prefer fish with a much milder flavor, but I’ve been eating stronger fish more and more.

So yes, I ate raw herring and didn’t die. By the end of the summer, I might be actually stopping at the herring stands on the side of the road.

I think I’m starting to fit in.

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