Posted on 18 January 2010 by joost
A true hate it or love it dish, nieuwe haring is not for everyone. This Dutch sashimi is a staple of our diet, and has been for many centuries. Nieuwe haring, also called maatjesharing and Hollandse Nieuwe, is herring from the Skagerrak (or thereabouts), conserved with salt and eaten with pickles.
That description alone can be quite enough for some viewers. Yep, raw fish indeed although the nastiest bits are removed on the fishing boat. Hollandse Nieuwe is then stored in small containers (vaatjes) and brought to shore. The first vaatje to land, some time in July, is traditionally auctioned off somewhere and it makes headline news.
The concoction has quite an -eh, shall I say intriguing, yes intriguing- aroma. Some folk like to top it off with raw onion, as if the scent isn’t overwhelming enough. Truth be told, haring tastes excellent, especially when enjoyed fresh from a stall (viskraam). It’s chock full of healthy omegas, too. Most often you would purchase them from the stall and eat the herring on the spot. You can either grab that sucker by the tail and lower it into your throat. Don’t worry, the head is chopped off. Usually though the vendor will dice the herring and give you a prikker (fork) to consume it.