the appetizer:

The Visual Food Lover's Guide by QA International, includes complete descriptions of foods like Carob, Juniper Berry, Dulse, Irish Moss, Lupine Bean, and Herring.




Clupea harengus, Clupeidae

Fresh Herring


A fish from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The herring is one of the most plentiful and harvested saltwater fish in the world. Herring measures 6-12 in. (15-30 cm) in length and can attain a maximum length of 17 in. (43 cm). It weighs 0.5-1.5 lb (250-750 g). The shape of the herring varies slightly, depending on species and habitat. Its white, fatty and tasty flesh contains many bones that are easily removed.


Herring is sold fresh and frozen, whole or as fillets, but also canned, marinated, salt-cured and smoked.

Marinated herring: whole herring with its bones removed, fried and immersed in a marinade. In North America, canned sardines are in fact herring.

Smoked herring: cold- or hot-smoked herring.

Cured herring: herring that is cold-smoked over a long period of time and salt-cured. It can be cleaned or uncleaned. Whole cured herring is sold by the piece. As fillets, it is sold in cans, sachets or marinated. It keeps 12-15 days. Its smoked eggs are sold in cans.

Bloater: usually a whole herring, ungutted, barely salted, semismoked (hot or cold). It keeps for about 5 days.

Buckling: lightly brined herring, hot-smoked and thus partly cooked, which can be eaten without further cooking. This treatment is especially popular in Germany and Holland. Buckling keeps for about 4 days.

Kipper: a large herring with its head removed, split in two along the back, boned, flattened, barely smoked (cold). Kippers can be eaten as is or they can be cooked for a few moments. They are sold fresh in cans, frozen or in ready-to-cook sachets. They keep for 4 days.

Serving Ideas

Herring can replace mackerel in most recipes. It is very often marinated, smoked and canned.


To scale herring, it is usually enough to simply wipe it. Herring can be gutted via the gills or by cutting through the spinal column behind the head.

Smoked Herring
Smoked Herring

Nutritional Information
protein 18g
fat 9g
carbohydrates 158
per 3.5 oz/100 g

Excellent Source: B-complex vitamins, phosphorus, potassium and fat.


Grilled, baked or pan-fried.

Herring is not well suited to steaming or poaching, as it is too fragile. Avoid overcooking.

  • from:
    The Visual Food Lover's Guide
  • by QA International
  • Wiley 2009
  • Paperback; 616 pages; US $16.95
  • ISBN-10: 0470505591
  • ISBN: 978-0-470-50559-5
  • Reprinted by permission.

Buy The Visual Food Lover's Guide


The Visual Food Lover's Guide


This page created October 2009

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