Herring played a pivotal role in the history of marine fisheries in Europe, and early in the twentieth century their study was fundamental to the evolution of fisheries science. These oily fish also have a long history as an important food fish, and are often salted, smoked, or pickled. The origins of the term herring is somewhat unclear, though it may derive from the Old High German heri meaning a “host, multitude”, in reference to the large schools they form.
COOKING / EATING BENEFITS
The tasty herring is an oily fish rich in protein and vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to health. Herrings range in size from 100-450g and can grow up to 40cm/16in in length. Herrings are usually sold whole. Whole herrings can be poached, fried, grilled or baked whole but are most popular in their various smoked and cured forms, and as Avruga – a great alternative to Caviar. As with all oil-rich fish, they benefit from a sharp sauce. Herring flesh has a delicate flavour that works well with many fresh herbs, particularly basil.
Herring is available year round, but the flavour is best from spring to autumn. Ensure freshness by choosing large, firm and slippery fish.