June 15, 2009

Hollandse Nieuwe...mmmmMMM!

Raw Herring is a typical Dutch delicacy. On Vlaggetjesdag (Flag Day) the arrival of the first herring (Hollandse Nieuwe) is celebrated in the southern coastal towns of Vlaardingen and Scheveningen. Although Vlaggetjesdag is a relatively new tradition, first officially celebrated in 1947, the tradition of welcoming the first catch of herring goes back hundreds of years. The first barrel of fish is traditionally auctioned for a good cause. This year 300,000 people attended the festival and the 1st barrel raised 66,000 Euro's!

Although i didn't go to Scheveningen for the festivities, i did go to a Herring Party this weekend at my favorite local hangout, Café de Bel. They had a Herring Cart outside and served up about 300 fishes!

The herring is traditionally served with raw onions. You hold the fish by the tail, dip it in the onions, toss your head back and take a bite! Click on the photo to the left to zoom & let Marko & Coen show you how it's done.

I wasn't so sure about herring first time i ate it. But, i've grown to love it. But, it has to be really fresh. It's a great remedy for a hangover. But, there is a catch...Herring taste great with a really cold beer!

I bought an extra one as a birthday gift for a friend of mine who loves herring more than anyone i know. Happy Birthday Atticus!

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