Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Amsterdam - February 2014: Herrings

Breakfast in Amsterdam

I had spotted this traditional Herring stall, previously, during our exploration of the city of Amsterdam. We were spending time researching a range of food, drink and other products across the city. Unfortunately there was much American style fast food or Dutch hybrids, so we had to look hard to find the more original cuisine. 

The herring is a hugely underrated fish in the United Kingdom and we wanted to understand how in Amsterdam, the herrings were prepared and served to their customers. It was fascinating watching the staff quickly preparing a large number of herrings, ready for the day (this was still early in the morning).

I ordered plain herring with onions, which was served on a napkin for ease (with the addition of a Dutch flag!). 

The herrings were sweet and delicate.  It was easy to eat the herrings on the move - this really was convenient and easy 'street food'. 

Would some of our UK shops or seafood bars be able to serve herring prepared so simply to make the most of the natural flavours and textures of the herring, most probably not. Unfortunately, herring is not a fashionable fish (unlike the cleverly re-branded 'Cornish Sardines' ) but perhaps tastes may change and we may learn to appreciate more fully this wonderful fish, in a most natural state.

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