Watch what happens when a tourist tries to eat a herring “Dutch style” while on vacation in the lovely Dutch town of Scheveningen

 Dutch herring Scheveningen

 Dutch people love their herring!

We all know that herring (haringis one of the top delicacies in the Netherlands. Dutch people actually consume over 12,000,000 kilos of herring per year. That boils down to around 5 of these slippery delights per person.

If slippery, smelly, raw fish is not your cup of tea, I’d suggest you perhaps avoid this very Dutch treat. For those of you who are brave enough to give it a try, it’s important to know that the very act of eating herring is an art form in itself! Yes, to be a true Dutchie you not only have to love the taste of herring, but you also have to eat it in a particular, proper “Dutch” fashion.

Don’t you dare try to cut your herring into pretty pieces and eat it with a knife and fork… Dat mag niet! To be truly indoctrinated Dutch-style, you must grab the fish by its slippery little tail, cock your head back to a slightly uncomfortable angle and take one large fishy bite. There’s something about this delightful little performance that has even the most humble of Dutch persons brimming with pride in nationalistic delight.

This tourist in Scheveningen did everything right. Great posture and style. But he didn’t expect there could be something that loves herring even more: The Dutch seagull!!


This guy is lucky he only lost his herring…

16 Responses

  1. Gerda

    Every city has it’s own style of eating herring ! You don’t have to eat it that way , lots of Dutch people have it cut up in little pieces. What you really have to watch for when there are a lot of seagulls around is gull poop , got some on my head myself…

    • Charlotte

      I don’t know where you from but enless you put in on littel toastes you DON’T cut the herring!

    • Jaap

      Cutting your herring is cheap and for paupers. Only in Amsterdam people do this. They may think it is okay, it is not….. No discussion about this.

  2. Lucy Newbery

    Here in Devon, S.W.England we have problems with seagulls too ,we used to feed the swans on the Exe but the gulls are waiting and grab it first. They have become a menace and it s not safe to eat outdoors. In earlier years no-one ate food in the open air and now too many people do it.

  3. Henk

    Wow, that’s amazing! Never seen anything like it.

    Never eaten ‘haring’ like that either I must admit. I’ve had ‘pretty cut up pieces’ on slices of baguette (can’t remember, but it might have been at a ‘borrel’ :)). It’s quite nice, but just the herring alone is just a bit too much for me, too emmm… fishy. It’s seems to me like eating a hamburger meat patty on its own without a bun, lettuce, gherkin, sauce, relish or whatever. Or biting your way through a haggis, with nothing on the side. Nah!

    • janneke blanken

      THE Scandinavians have lovely herring with dill sause, mustard aucer, kerry sauce etc, a delight! To be eaten in pieces on rye bread!

  4. rik

    Same thing happened to me with a Ham Kaas Croissant when visiting Madurodam last week…proper scary.

  5. HansFM

    Amsterdam style: cut in pieces. The Hague: sliding in

  6. Giles

    I ate some of this Dutch herring once and it was completely disgusting.

    • Jaap

      We pray that most people do think the same, there is not enough herring to go round anymore. So, thank you sir…. 😉

  7. Alex

    A true Dutchman never eats his herring with raw onions, only tourists do so.
    The onion flavour overpowers the delicate freshness of the raw herring.

    • Wim

      Sorry Alex, I think you’re mistaken. I’m as Dutch as they come, love the haring, and always have it with raw onion. Just went out to the markt in Rotterdam, outside the Markthal, got myself a haring. Fair few people there, mostly Dutchies ordering the herring, and a lot of them go for the onions.

    • Esther Rodzinyak

      Not so, Alex in Limburg they eat it with raw onions.


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