maandag 26 januari 2009


Een vriend van me moest ooit voor zijn opleiding een website bouwen over een onderwerp naar keuze in het engels. Gezien het geen deel van de opdracht was hem ook daadwerkelijk on-line te zetten is dat ook nooit gebeurt. En omdat ik mijn ├╝berstoere sukkelblogje nu heb leek het me wel leuk om toch zijn teks te publiceren omdat deze geniale informatie geeft over de Haring in de Engelse taal.

Ik heb me vermaakt met het lezen in ieder geval


About herring
Herring goes Dutch

Herring is a fish that is eaten in a lot of country's around the world. You can prepare it in a lot of different ways. It's very nice smoked (kippers!!), canned in tomato sauce or fresh fried. But the best way too eat a herring is to eat it like the Dutch. The Dutch cal it Hollandse nieuwe or a maatje. It's not cooked or smoked and it isn't raw, it is preserved in a typical Dutch way called kaken. In Holland you can buy it at little stalls on almost every corner of the street. It can be eaten at any time of the day as a snack and it's great for breakfast. The texture of the herring is soft and the taste is fresh and salty (like the sea). Apart from being one of the best things you can eat in the world, it's also very healthy and well known as a cure for hangovers. It's a very traditional food and it's always a happening when the new herring arrive at the end of may or the beginning of June. The first few days when the new Hollandse nieuwe is served it's served with a korenwijn. This is an old sort of strong spirit that goes very well with Hollandse nieuwe. The Netherlands may not be famous for their kitchen (although we have a few very nice Dutch dishes) it should be famous for their Hollandse nieuwe and for the korenwijn as well.

There are two sorts of herring the Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) and the Pacific herring (Clupea pallassi) or maybe it's one because if they can mate it's one but if they can not their two. But since there is quite a lot of America in between the two oceans they probably never get the chance to mate and we will never know. They both belong to the family Clupeidea. They can grow up to 45cm and weigh over half a kilo. they feed on copepods, krill and small fish, their predators are seals, whales, cod and other big fish and of course humans. The Atlantic herring lives on both sides of the ocean in large schools. The largest recorded school covered four sq. km and contained over four billion fish. There are a lot of different sort of Atlantic herring, depending on ware they live. They all have a different spawning time (spring, summer, autumn and winter herring) and place. A herring spawns ones a year and is a virgin the rest of the year. The North Sea herring (the one we use for hollandse nieuwe) spawns in July or August. Before they spawn they eat a lot and get very big and fat.

What's kaken

Kaken is a very old way to preserve herring. It was invented by Willem Beukelszoon in 1380. Kaken is a simple technique that involves removing most of the herring it's organs except it's pancreas. To understand the technique of kaken you must know that a herring spawns once a year. Before the herring can reproduce they must become big and fat. So in the period before spawning they eat a lot. To digest all this food the pancreas produces enzymes. These enzymes rapidly turn all the food in to fat. The trick with kaken is to catch the fish just before they begin to produce eggs or sperm. At this point the fish are fat and the pancreas is producing a lot of enzymes. If you remove most of it's organs the fish is left with a lot of enzymes but no food for them to digest anymore. The enzymes don't stop at this point and since they have no food to digest anymore they start to digest the herring. The enzymes start to break down the herring it's cells. If you let them do that to long, lets say a day, you can throw away your herring. This is why they ad salt. The salt slows down the enzymes but doesn't stop them completely. What they actually do is they put the herring in brine. The trick to get a good Hollandse nieuwe is to leave them in the brine for exactly the right time. This is a real craft and only Dutch people can do it . If the herring is good for consumption they are frozen. Then they are transported to the fishmongers. The fishmonger defrosts the fish and removes the pancreas, the head ,the skin and the bones, so that you are left with two fillets that are still attached by the tail. This is how it goes now a day's. In the time before freezers you could only eat the herring that was caught near the port like this. The other herring was salted heavily to preserve it and needed to desalted before consumption. That mend that you could only eat Hollandse nieuwe in a very short period of the year. Thank god for freezers, now we can enjoy Hollandse nieuwe all year round


First of all how to eat a herring. You buy the herring as two fillets that era still attached by the tail. You put a few very finely chopped unions on it and then you lift the herring above your head and gently lower the herring into your mouth and take a bite. Keep on eating until you reach the tail. This is the best way to eat a herring. Some people cut them in bite size chunks and eat them with pickles, but dose people are completely insane, have no decent sense of taste and live in Amsterdam.
Herring salad
Cut four boiled potato's in dice's and do the same with two boiled beetroot and one sour apple. Chop up two pickled gherkins and eight pickled unions. Chop six herring fillets in bite size chunks. Mix all the ingredients together with two tablespoons of vinegar, four tablespoons of oil and half a teaspoon of mustard. Garnish with mayonnaise, union rings and two more herring fillets.

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