Herring - Gourmet Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Herring is a small, silver colored oily fish found in water of the North Pacific Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean and off the coast of South America. Herring are known to swim in large groups, or schools, and are typically found near the coastline. There are three main commercial species of Herring: Atlantic Herring, Pacific Herring and Araucanian Herring, which are found near the coastline of Chile. Atlantic Herring is the most commonly caught Herring, providing more than half of all Herring captured.

Herring History
Herring have been caught by humans for food for nearly five thousand years. Herring have been fermented, pickled, smoked, cured and even eaten raw throughout the centuries, as they are some of the most abundantly found fish in the world. Herring have a single dorsal fin and are distinguished by a protruding lower jaw. Often called “silver of the sea” in Europe, the silver color of their bodies help conceal them from many predators, yet make it easier for humans to catch them.

Herring Health Benefits
Herring are an excellent source of protein and are lower in fat than many other meats. Herring are abundant in the Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) may help reduce triglycerides, inflammation and may reduce the risk of heart disease. DHA (decosahexaenoic acid) contributes to brain and eye development in infants. Herring also contains vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B-12, which promotes cellular function and energy, Vitamin D and calcium, which supports bone health and selenium which helps reduce free radical damages and inflammation.

Herring Varieties
While fresh Herring is available at fish markets, Herring is commonly canned, smoked or pickled as a way to preserve the fish. This oily fish has a rich and strong flavor that lends itself to pickling. The term Matjes is often associated with Herring, and means that the Herring is soaked in a mild preserving liquid like brine, vinegar, cider, wine or tea. Matjes Herring are usually flavored with sugar and/or spices as well. Herring are an excellent snack when served on buttered brown bread, or as a hors d'oeuvre when served with smoked salmon and dill sauce. Herring and potatoes are a classic pairing, and Herring is the perfect addition to a seafood salad.

igourmet's large selection of Herring includes, smoke, spiced, marinated and many other varieties. Danish Lunch Herring Tin by Lykkeberg offers premium quality mature Herring in Dill, Sherry or Tomato varieties made by the oldest Herring producer in Denmark. The Swedes have a long history of preserving fish from the Northeastern Atlantic and Herring have garnered a popular spot in Swedish dishes during holidays throughout the year. Marinated Swedish Herring by Abba offers Original, Dill, Sliced Onion, Aquavit or Mustard varieties. Wikstroms Pickled Herring and Norden Herring are Swedish-style Herrings preserved in the traditional brines of onions, vinegar, sugar, and spices. Or try our Herring Fillets in Tomato, Mustard or Red Pepper Sauce varieties. In England, Herring is customarily smoked and called Kippers. igourmet sells multiple brands of Kippers, or Kippered Herring, as well. When searching for gourmet food online, look no further than igourmet.com.

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