The herring

In former days the herring (Latin: clupea harengus) was known as a poor people’s food. However, in the course of the time it has become the favorite fish dish of the Germans and is primarily known as a delicious delicacy. About 20 percent of the fish consumption in Germany comprises herring or herring products.

Der Hering

Herring is very delicious roasted, raw or marinated, as a Bismarck herring, as a salt herring or as a roll mop in the morning for a perfect hangover breakfast.

The herring, being a saltwater fish, offers healthy nutrients: a lot of iodine, unsaturated fatty acids and highly nutritious protein. Herring contains vitamin A, D, B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are important for the structure of the brain- and neural tissue. Especially for children fish is very important. Even two herring are able to satisfy their daily needs of vitamin B12.

Herring live in shoals can reach a length of 40 cm and an age of 20 years. Its living space is not only the North Sea or the Baltic Sea, but the whole North-Atlantic Ocean.
Thanks to the warming of the water in spring time the plankton breeds and so the herring has a lot of food for recovering from the winter. Until the beginning of the summer it is fattening itself a lot until it is making its way to the seashores for spawn, completing their amazing life cycle. A herring therefore consists of 18% fat.

Herring tastes differently throughout the whole year. That’s why in fall the herring is caught in the open sea and tastes very lean and soft, whereas in springtime the herring is caught by the coast and has a very fatty and strong taste.

Geräucherter Hering aus der Schlei

Despite of the different haul-seasons herring can be distinguished by the age:

  • The youngest herring is called “Matjes”-herring, which is being caught before producing any milk or roe.
  • The so called “Vollhering” (Full-herring) is being caught after producing milk and roe and before spawn.
  • The so called “Leerhering” (Empty-herring) is being caught after spawn.