Haring is the Dutch term for herring, a small, slick silver-colored fish fished in the North Atlantic and North Pacific Ocean.
The Dutch are fanatical with the season’s first haring, known as Hollandse Nieuwe, which starts coming out on 1st June. The coming of this greasy delight is usually front-page news. It’s safe to say that haring is a bit of a Dutch gastronomic icon.
Haring might only be termed Hollandse Nieuwe or Nieuwe haring, if it is caught during May and July, it comprises at least 16 percent fat and is prepared bestowing to the Dutch traditions.
Why Makes Dutch Herring Unique
The fish are cleaned on the fishing boats, leaving the pancreas. The pancreatic enzymes do most of the preservation so that the salt-water they are kept in requires much less salt. This could explain why Dutch haring is so much more appetizing than other salted or pickled haring assortments in the rest of Europe.
How the Dutch Eat Herring
The way the Dutch eat their herring is pretty unusual. They serve it with chopped raw onions and sliced gherkins on a bun or, more commonly, as is, with head and innards removed. The idea is that you grab the herring by its tail, dip it in the raw onions, throw your head back, and down the hatch it goes. That’s the proper “Dutch way.”
A Bit of History
The haring and the Dutch go back 1,000 years when the Dutch first began fishing and trading this adored fish. Historians are certain that much of Holland’s wealth, sea trade, and settlement can be attributed to haring. After a Dutchman named Willem Beukelszoon designed a popular process for curing the fish in salt-water, the love affair was paved.
The locals believe that Amsterdam was built from haring bones. And, in fact, historians believe that the Netherlands gained its upper hand on the world seas in the 17th century because Dutch sailors were fed haring, an outstanding base of protein and omega fatty acids. Therefore, it looks like, that Holland can thank its Golden Age, at least in part, to the silver-blue fish.
Dutch people also make a big deal of the haring season, which commences in mid-May and runs till July. But At the beginning of June the haring is believed to be the finest, and every year the opening tub of Nieuwe Haring is sold for charity. Afterward, everyone can coddle as the haring is sold universally and haring meals are served, including Vlaggetjesdag in Scheveningen.