Food blog

The Unexpected Delights of Pickled Herring: Prepare to Be Surprised!

The surprising taste of pickled herring

When it comes to popular foods, pickled herring may not be the first thing that comes to mind for most Americans. However, this humble fish has gained popularity in other parts of the world, particularly in Scandinavia and the Caribbean. While it may not have the same allure as salmon or tuna, pickled herring offers a number of benefits that make it worth a try. Inexpensive, sustainable, and packed with omega-3 fatty acids, pickled herring is a versatile and nutritious option for seafood lovers.

Explore the world of pickled herring

Before delving into the flavors and preparations of pickled herring, it’s important to understand the nature of this small, oily fish. Herring is known for its natural oiliness and small, bony structure. The pickling process involves extracting excess moisture with salt and then immersing the fish in a mixture of vinegar, onions, peppercorns, bay leaves and other spices. This combination not only enhances the flavor, but also cuts through the oiliness, resulting in a unique flavor that is both slightly sweet and oniony.
If you’re new to pickled herring, start with the Wine Sauce variety. This version offers a balanced and approachable flavor profile. The wine sauce complements the fish, adding a touch of acidity and complexity. Spread it on toast or pair it with a variety of sauces and you’ll discover a delicious snack that is often overlooked.

More ways to enjoy pickled herring

In addition to the wine sauce variety, pickled herring is also available in cream. This combination of sour cream, dill, and sweet onions offers a creamy and tangy twist on the traditional pickled herring experience. It can also be enjoyed with toast and a variety of sauces for a different texture and flavor dimension.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try kippers, a traditional British pickled herring dish. Kippers are herring that have been split, salted or brined, and cold smoked. They can be poached and served with scrambled eggs, or enjoyed with poached eggs cooked in the same water as the fish. The smoky and robust flavor of kippers adds a unique touch to breakfast or brunch.
For a truly authentic experience, explore Dutch Herring. Cured in a light saltwater brine, Dutch herring is celebrated in the Netherlands during each new herring season. The fish are caught when they are at their fattest, just before mating, resulting in a rich and flavorful delicacy. Dutch herring is often served by holding it by the tail and lowering the whole, headless fish into the mouth – a dramatic and traditional way to enjoy this culinary delight.


While pickled herring may not be an immediate favorite for many Americans, its flavor and versatility offer a pleasant surprise. Whether you start with the wine sauce variety, explore the creamy options, or venture into traditional dishes like kippers or Dutch herring, there are numerous ways to enjoy this underrated snack. Embracing pickled herring opens up a world of flavors and textures that are both satisfying and nutritious. So why not give this humble fish a chance and indulge in its unique and surprising flavor?
– “The taste of pickled herring may surprise you” –


Pickled herring is a type of fish preparation in which herring is cured in a mixture of vinegar, salt and various spices. This process enhances the flavor and extends the shelf life of the fish.

What does pickled herring taste like?

Pickled herring has a unique flavor that is slightly sweet, spicy and oniony. The vinegar and spices used in the pickling process add depth and complexity to the fish’s natural flavor.

Is pickled herring healthy?

Yes, pickled herring is a healthy choice. Herring is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health and brain function. It is also a good source of protein and contains essential nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium.

How should I eat pickled herring?

There are many ways to enjoy pickled herring. It can be spread on toast, paired with a variety of sauces, or added to dishes such as salads or sandwiches. Some people even prefer to eat it straight from the jar.

Can I find pickled herring in different flavors?

Yes, pickled herring comes in a variety of flavors. The most common are herring in wine sauce and herring in cream. These variations offer different flavor profiles, so you can choose the one that appeals to your preferences.

Is pickled herring only popular in certain countries?

Pickled herring is particularly popular in Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Norway and Finland, as well as in the Caribbean. However, it can be enjoyed worldwide and its unique taste and health benefits have been recognized by seafood lovers around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *