The Dutch herring ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ is available again! This herring is the first fresh Dutch herring of the season, ready to eat. But why is it so special?

Virgin herring
‘Maatjesharing’ is the other name for the fresh fish. It’s from the word ‘maagdenharing’, which means virgin herring. That’s because the herring is so young that it doesn’t create spawn yet. The Dutch fish for the herring when it contains at least 16 percent fat, which is always in June.

Dutch Herring is usually eaten with onions and a piece of pickle. You can eat it on bread, but the Dutch usually just grab it by the tail and eat it from above their head. This is called ‘haring happen’. And how does it taste? Salty, grasy, and great together with the onions. And Dutch students claim it’s a great snack to cure your hangover with.

The best herring
Every year Newspaper AD presents a herringtest, with the 10 best places where you can eat herring throughout Holland. On the 22nd of June the 10 best places will be revealed. But the least few years Vishandel Gebroerers Simonis in Scheveningen won. So if you want the real herring experience, go to Scheveningen!

And of course there are a more things you should know as an international living in Holland. Like how do you celebrate your birthday over here? And what about your child’s birthday party? And how do you become friends with the Dutch? Follow our Understanding the Dutch course and we’ll give you a warm welcome to the Netherlands. Together with other expats you’ll learn everything you need to know about Amsterdam. Sign up here.