For fish fanatics (like me) the arrival of the late Spring catch of fresh herring in Holland is cause for celebration. We have access to it via Russ & Daughters, a fish supplier since 1914. Nowadays, these transactions are done online (Russ’ business was originally from a pushcart).
It appears that there is quite an enthusiastic following in the U.S. for these fish, and the rituals are intriguing. Photos below are from their website.
I have a friend, Dean, who is a fellow seafood lover. Unfortunately, his wife is allergic to all fish and seafood, so he is rarely able to enjoy it. However, I often have occasions when I have seafood and my wife is not interested (e.g. octopus), or her tolerance is small (herring, but only pickled from a jar). Thus, Dean and I have a pact in which he joins me to indulge in my piscatorial excesses, and the new Holland herring was just such an occasion.
I had tried the herring two days before in the manner shown above, where one drops the raw herring in your mouth from above. It’s quite tasty — smooth, rich flavors, full of umami — but I can only eat one or two fillets that way. On the other hand, I find that grilling the fillets with a little olive oil and a touch of fresh basil is supremely delicious, so last week, Dean and I demolished the remaining 10 herring fillets using our preferred methods of imbibing. Here’s what my plate looked like:
Fortunately, Dean also appreciates wine and is curious about different countries and grapes, and I am always happy to oblige. I had three open bottles of white wine in the refrigerator (much more than usual), so we could do a compare and contrast exercise, which was great fun. We tried them in sequence: Landron Muscadet (France), Vermell Xarel-Lo (Spain), and Oddity Wine Collective Riesling/Viognier (AZ). All were good, but the consensus was that the Riesling/Viognier was the best match. Thanks, Aaron!
Our next event will be octopus, I hope!