Taste the season: Hollandse Nieuwe herring

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The Dutch love their herring, which they call Hollandse Nieuwe or ‘New Dutch herring’. They eat their raw fish on a bun or as a snack with some chopped onions and pickles. It is not only very tasty but also incredibly healthy!

  • Herring season starts annually in June with the famous Vlaggetjesdag or ‘flag day’.
  • When is herring allowed to bear the name Hollandse Nieuwe?
  • Have some Hollandse Nieuwe at a fish stall by the beach.

Traditionally caught

Hollandse Nieuwe is the name for herring that is caught every year. The fish go through the same cycle annually: in winter it is too skinny and in spring, when there is more plankton, it fattens up until the fat content is at least 16%. It can be caught from May to July, with the herrings being cleaned and salted the traditional way aboard the ships.

Herring season

Herring season starts early in June every year with the traditional auction of the first tub of Nieuwe Haring. After that the herring sold everywhere and herring feasts are organised in many places. One of these is the famous Vlaggetjesdag or ‘flag day’ in Scheveningen. The start date of herring season is usually announced around the end of November.

Try some Hollandse Nieuwe

Hollandse Nieuwe is a much-loved delicacy for the Dutch but tourists are usually willing to give it a try. Of course it is always at its best and freshest along the Dutch coast. So if you want to try some Hollandse Nieuwe, buy your herring at a fish monger or stall on the boulevard or on the beach of Scheveningen, Zandvoort or Noordwijk!