Tasting Amsterdam: salted herring

herring from food truck

I had salted herring from a food vendor today.

Curt and I along with our friend Jacob are visiting Amsterdam for the week.

On Sunday we visited our friends Esteban and Loesje and their daughter, Sofia, who live outside The Hague.

At some point we started talking about herring.

Loesje showed us the pickled herring they had in their fridge, which isn’t the typical way to eat it in these parts. Soused (salted) herring is the way to eat it around here.

According to What’s up with Amsterdam, herring is a small fish that is very popular among Dutch people. It is caught in the North Sea and the East Sea (near Denmark) from mid May to mid July. 

So we are here for the end of the season.

pickled herring

The pickled herring in our friends’ fridge.

According to Self Nutrition Data a raw fillet of herring (184 grams) has 17 grams of fat; 33 grams of protein; no fiber; and no carbohydrates. A cup (140 grams) of pickled herring has 25 grams of fat; 20 grams of protein; no fiber; and 13 grams of carbohydrates.

According to Livestrong, having herring is one the time when you want to opt for a protein source that is higher in fat, since higher-fat fish contain more of the heart-healthy essential omega-3 fats. Herring make a nutritious choice, since they also tend to be low in mercury. So even pregnant women can safely eat up to 12 ounces of this fish per week.

Also according to What’s up with Amsterdam, Dutch raw herring is famous for being a remedy for hangovers.

Today I tried salted herring for the first time. I ordered it from a food vendor with onions and pickles, which seems to be the way to eat in Amsterdam. It was quite tasty and delicious.

I am a huge advocate of protein so the herring intrigued me. I also like to try local food, beer and wine when I can. I have tried many beers and food since I have been here. The “very dutch” item I ordered the other day was bitterballen, which was interesting and good.

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