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Jun 6, 2009 07:52 AM

dutch herring in gta?

I'm originally from NYC. One of my favourite treats there was the annual Dutch herring festival at the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Terminal. (Treats is an understatement! I waited for it every year.)

Does anyone know where I can find Dutch herring in Toronto or anywhere in the GTA? I don't mean in a tin or at a deli to serve at home. I mean flown in from Holland in early June, served in a restaurant.

I know it's not green eating, hopefully you'll forgive that. Any ideas?

Here's a Chowhound link from last year's Herring Fest at the Oyster Bar.

Thank you!

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  1. This is intriguing. I gather these are freshly salted spring crop herring, rather than last years, and a real pleasure to eat like oysters.'
    I haven't seen them here, but they may be available.
    Many Dutch immigrants in S.W. Ontario and Durham Region, where I live, seem to come from the interior farmlands, and herring is not a feature on their tables.

    1. You might call North Fish in Etobicoke. Brandt Meats might be able to help, too.

      1. Since visiting and experiencing herring festivals in Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Helsinki, I have yet to experience the same here. I would love to see someone do this...but I gather its difficulty lies in being inland. Any leads on great herring in this city would be appreciated as well!


        1. Yes, it's fresh, salted herring. The Oyster Bar at Grand Central has them flown in daily. They're served split, with the spine/bones removed, with chopped egg, onions and scallions. As I type this, my mouth is watering! They are, for me, a unique taste. My herring companion and I would order 4 or 5 plates of them each. And if we could, we'd go 2 or 3 times during the Herring Fest. It only lasts a week or 10 days.

          Re North Fish and Brandt Meats, do you mean those places might know where Dutch herring is served in the area? Or because they might sell them?

          Thanks for the suggestions! If I'm successful, I'll report back.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Lgirl

            one of the reasons why i decided to stay lol... good luck with your search. here in NL 'vlaggetjesdag' is exactly a week from today. every saturday i eat one harring at the open air market, at the same fish monger's stand. every year i eat around 120 instant omega-3. i've got some visual but am afraid it'd be a torture :)

            1. re: Pata_Negra

              Well, I know what they look like. The torture is not having them!

              The Herring I ate in NYC was great, but the ones I ate in Amsterdam, oh those many years ago, were *amazing*.

              1. re: Lgirl

                oops, actually the new season starts tomorrow!!!! sorry but it'll never taste quite the same unless the creature is prepared before your eyes and consumed immediately, here. i'm so spoiled that i'd never eat herrings in AMS ever again. after several hundreds of these marzipan from the sea i know only my fishmonger has the best.

                any cheap flights to AMS? ;) cheers

            2. re: Lgirl

              We are guessing, These are busy places with good Euro connections.
              You may have to find a small German or Polish restaurant that knows how to bring this delicacy in.

              Diana's Seafood
              2101 Lawrence Ave E, Toronto, ON M1R, CA

              864 College Street West, Toronto, ON M6H 1A3, CA

              North Fish Company Ltd
              23 Six Point Rd, Toronto, ON M8Z, CA

              1. re: Lgirl

                I doubt Brandt carries the real deal(a pescavore's dream)but they might have a lead or two, as might North Fish. All sorts of fresh herring in season used to be on offer at the long-gone Copenhagen Room. God how I wish that style food would make a comeback...

              2. Can anyone explain what Dutch herring is to someone like me who is unfamiliar with the term? Is it marinated? Is it salted? How is it prepared?
                My favorite type of herring is Matjes which I believe originates in Norway if I'm not mistaken.
                I buy it at Daiters on Bathurst St. between Lawrence Ave. and Wilson Ave.Very salty, but delicious, a truly unique taste.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Doctormhl1

                  The OP is looking for herring freshly caught , salted, and shipped. Matjes may be prepared from herring salted a year ago, and stored. Nothing wrong with that, but she is looking for something unique to the season, and hard to find.

                  1. re: jayt90

                    Yes, matjes is yummy, but this " nieuw herring" is unique. See above for link from Chowhound's NYC board.