Friday, December 30, 2011

Herring That New Year's Favorite

Germans love holidays and they celebrate in the best way  - with food. New Year's is no exception. One o the most loved and traditional foods is herring. It's served at countless parties on both sides of the Atlantic. It represents good luck however it should also represent health.

Herring is an oily fish , found mostly in the temperate waters of the North Atlantic, North Pacific and the Baltic Sea (hence the reason they're a popular dish with the Germans and Scandinavians). Herring has been use din cooking for three thousand years. They're extremely high in Omega 3 fatty acids as well as  Vitamin D. However on the down side the fish can also absorb PCBs and dioxins. These pollutants can influence how much herring can be caught,Baltic herring, which is larger than regular herring , soaks up more than regular herring. These should be eaten only twice a month. Smaller herring actually escape this and can be eaten more freely.

Germans usually like their herring either pickled or in cream. Pickled herring usually is a two step process where the fish is cured with salt to extract the water. The next step is is adding flavorings and these could be salt,vinegar, and sugar along to which  raw  onions, peppercorns and bay leaves are added. A similar dish, rollmops, ,involved wrapping the pickled herring around a gherkin.This originated in Berlin in the last century and quickly became popular. Creamed herring involves marinating the fish in sour cream. You cna make this at home or buy it in in jars as you can with pickled herring.

Herring isn't just for New year's although it's a great dish for welcoming in the New Year. It's is healthy  alternative to other fish and other meats. Have it at a party or just as a light supper. It's good for you

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