15 February, 2008

Fishy Delights 10: Abba brand Matjes Herring

Matjes herring (or "soused herring" as it is often known in English-speaking countries) is another interesting tinned fish product; the container pictured is from Abba Seafoods of Sweden.

The fish is filleted and brined with herbs and spices. In the case of the tin I purchased, it's cold-packed and sealed, and then kept refrigerated because matjes herring is an uncooked product.

Although similar to the refrigerated "herring in wine sauce" or "pickled herring" available in nearly every supermarket around here, matjes is a distinctly different product in flavor as well as texture.

I opened a can and poured off some of the dark lavender-colored brine. The herring bits were translucent and pink with their silver skin still clinging to one side. There was a distinct aroma of dill, but it was overpowered by the strong smell of cloves, which I reckon was the "spice" listed on the label.

The taste was very different from other herring products I've had in the past. Slightly sweet, heavily cloved, with just a hint of dill in the background (from the amount of dill weed that had been in the brine, I thought it would be a more prominent flavor, but no.) The fish was very tender, almost meltingly so, with a rich fishy deliciousness. I thought that the clove taste was a bit strong, so I decided to try the matjes with other things.

Some thinly-sliced red onion and a bit of sour cream made for a good combination, with the sour cream smoothing out the rough clovey edges and the flavor and crunch of the onion contrasting nicely with the fish.

But putting the matjes on a slice of good, toasted pumpernickle bread with a sliced egg and some paper-thin onion slices was best of all. A fine and worthy combination. I wish I had some caraway-flavord schnapps to go with it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hay dood thats lavender