Saturday, November 24, 2018


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Spaarndammerbuurt, November 24, 2018—

HERE YOU SEE one of the things that calls us back to Netherlands: verse haring, fresh herring, also called nieuwe ("new") or even groene ("green," so called when eaten on board ship, just after the catch).

In any case they are eaten raw, split, and boned. It used to be there was a season for this, but the advent of freezing has changed that; now you can get "fresh" herring just about anytime. (Freezing has also taken care of a problem that arose, I think, in the 1970s: the occasional presence of a parasite. I think freezing changes taste and texture, but it's a minimal change.)

The fish is sweet and sea-flavored, its texture pleasant. Dutch sushi, perhaps. Traditionally you bought one at a herring stand, held it by the tail, flipped one side than the other in chopped onion, and tipped your head back to take it in.

Or, as here, you get a haringbroodje, the split herring on a bun, with scattered chopped onion and sour pickle slices.

We bought these at Haringhandel A. van Dok, Haarlemmerplein, a twelve-minute stroll from our apartment. I like a small glass of jenever (gin) with my haring as a prelude to dinner, but this was lunchtime, and our refrigerator divulged a can of Heineken, not a bad chaser.

•Haringhandel A. van Dok, Haarlemmerplein 1a, Amsterdam; 📞+31 20 620 94 94

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