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Nov 24, 2008 10:25 AM

Where can I find Matjes/Maatjesharing (soused herring) in the Bay Area?

For an old German recipe of Herringsalat (soused herring w/ beets & sour cream) I am trying to find fresh or frozen soused herring. Anyone have any suggestions where to start the search?

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  1. Hmmm ... would it be carried jarred? If that is the case I'd start by calling the German stores in the Bay Area
    - Lehr's German Specialties (SF)
    - Munchner Haus Delicatessen (Freemont)
    - The Junket (El Cerrito)

    Seems like there are recipes on the web. If you wanted to make it yourself, you might post on the recipe board.

    This time of year the Eastern European markets stock up on herring. Don't know if any of them sell fresh herring or even swimming in buckets. If it were the latter, that would happen close to Christmas.

    You might check through this list of Eastern European businesses for delis and markets. Delikateski in Concord might be one of the better options as there is some cross-over from Eastern European to German. Euromix on PIedmont in Oakland might also be a good source. Europa Express 2 on La Playa near ocean beach, had the most impressive collection of dried and pickled fish I've seen and I think if anyone would carry live herring around the holidays it might be them. There's a new market on Geary, Royal Market, that has the only fresh meat counter that I've know about for an Eastern European store. Don't know if they carry fish too. Haven't been there yet though.

    Wikipedia says they are the same as English roll mop herring, but don't know if that is true.

    1. I must confess that I don't know exactly what soused herring is and am too lazy to look it up (not that it would help you much if I did)...but along the same lines as rw's suggestion, while New World Market on Geary is Russian/Eastern European, not German, you might try it: was in there Sunday and they had lots of herring and other fish items (and some fresh fish, IIRC).

      New World Market
      5641 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

      1. I haven't looked lately, but Costco used to be a good source for pickled herring.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sharuf

          They haven't had the herring in sour cream for quite awhile now, unfortunately. Don't know about "soused," but I kind of doubt it.

        2. Just wanted to update my original post,
          in case anyone in search of Matjes stumbles across this post...

          I ended up finding fresh Matjes at Lehr's,
          a great little German store in Noe Valley
          - and perfect resource for all other Herringsalad ingredients, as well:

          pickled beets, lingonberries, conrnichons ...

          Lehr's German Specialties
          1581 Church St, San Francisco, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: JulesSF

            Thanks for the report - will definitely check that out. How was the matjes prepared? I was underwhelmed by the Swedish Abba brand that they sell at Ikea - it was like any other pickled herring, in pieces and too sweet for me.

          2. you can find the type of herring you're looking for (young brined herring, not pickled) at nordic house in berkeley. and they even take online orders!