Moving to Holland is not easy, but it's worth the effort. This blog tells the story of shifting from American life in Pittsburgh to Expat life in the Netherlands,
and all of our European adventures that follow.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's not a red herring,

they really love this stuff!

There are few things quite as typically Dutch as a herring stall (maybe second to that is an Oliebollen stall in the winter). The origins go way back to their fishing and trading days over a 1000 years ago.  Raw herring, caught in the North Sea, cleaned, with it's head and bones removed, and conserved in in salt.  It is usually served with diced, raw onions, and sometimes with pickles.

Mmm... now doesn't that look lekker?!

And the typically Dutch way to eat it: pick it up by it's tail, and slide it into your mouth in one fell swoop. Like so:

You'll often see people walk up to the stall such as this, put a two Euro coin down, and be handed a herring without ever exchanging a word. Now that is Dutch efficiency!

So, we felt like it was our duty to get the complete Dutch experience by trying the slippery, slimy, smelly fish delicacy... and we waited until literally the last day to do it.  Here is the proof!

Confident in my abilities, I went first.  

Not looking so certain anymore once I have a mouthful of herring. 

Chad was, shall we say, not pleased with the idea.

But, he was a sport.

OK, full disclosure, neither of us ate any more than the one bite you see here.  But, how many raw herrings have you eaten (question not applicable to the Dutch)?  The only thing that would have made this experience better (other than trading the herring for an oliebollen), would be if it had been served to us by this lovely Nederlandse vrouw:


The rest of the pics are here on Flickr:

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