Dutch herring with onions and pickles

Eating herring (haring) in Amsterdam

Eating herring is very popular in Amsterdam. Most people think we eat it raw, but it is a legal requirement to freeze the fish for at least 24 hours before consumption (to kill parasites). According to the owner of the herring stall at the Albert Cuyp market it is an old Jewish tradition to cut the fish into bite-sized pieces, that’s why the fish is sold this way in Amsterdam. It is garnished with onions, pickles and a cocktail stick with a small Dutch flag.

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The best herring is called ‘Hollandse Nieuwe‘. It is the first herring of the season and it contains at least 16% fat. It is caught between mid May and the end of June. Traditionally, the first barrel of Hollandse Nieuwe is sold at an auction and the money goes to charity (sometimes its price goes up to € 90.000)

The best experience is to eat your herring at a herring stall, but you can go to fish shops as well. You can find herring stalls throughout the whole city, but here are a few recommendations:

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