Needless to say, raw herring is an acquired taste and this silvery, slimy snack is definitely not for everyone. Nevertheless, it holds a special place in many Dutch people’s hearts and has been a staple dish of the Netherlands since the Middle Ages. This infamous fish can be bought throughout the country and in summer time herring season comes into full swing, with countless low-landers chowing down on this peculiarly Dutch delicacy.
Many northern European countries enjoy their own version of herring. In the UK kippers are traditionally served alongside eggs and black-pudding, acting as one of the pillars of the Great British breakfast. Whereas, in Germany the fish are tossed into a salad and rolled over sauerkraut or gherkins. Clearly, something about herring brings out national idiosyncrasies, and just like their neighbors, the Dutch are positively enthralled by the fish’s charms.
Historically a large part of the Dutch economy revolved around the fish trade and herring was a vital commodity. This little fish prefers to move in large schools around shallow coastlines making it an easy catch for fishermen. At some point in the Middle Ages the Dutch began to smoke and salt the fish, preserving it in large barrels that could be transported across Europe and eventually the New World. In the 14th century this process was improved with vinegar, and soon after herbs and spices were added to the mix, creating the variety of brine which is still used in the Netherlands today.
This brine is much sweeter than other European equivalents and gives the fish a distinctive zing. To even out its flavor the Dutch often pair herring with diced raw onions and gherkins, sprinkling these accompaniments over the fish’s scales. While herring can be eaten inside of a bread roll, this method will garner disapproving looks from locals. Indeed, the only true, Dutch way to eat herring is vertically; with certified Netherlanders dangling the fish above their mouths as they take generous bites from this pickled treat.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.