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Where can I find pickled herring?

foodtrip Dec 15, 2009 02:28 AM

My husband is Danish and I've decided to make a traditional Danish Christmas dinner this year. I've never looked for pickled herring before, so I'm clueless as to where to find the best. Any grocery store, or do I have to go to a specialty shop? Rockville/Gaithersburg area preferred, but not essential. Thanks!

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    glutton RE: foodtrip Dec 15, 2009 04:03 AM

    I'm sure there are gourmet stores that stock these things, but you can also always stop by Ikea. they've got this and many other scandinavian favorites. For the pickled herring, they sell the same brands I see in the gourmet stores, so I don't think you're getting some sketchy version.

    1. woodleyparkhound RE: foodtrip Dec 15, 2009 04:43 AM

      I've gotten it at the Pentagon City Costco a couple of times and really liked it - however, I haven't seen it in my last couple of visits there.

      1. monavano RE: foodtrip Dec 15, 2009 04:47 AM

        Try the Kielbasa Factory in Rockville ;-)

        1. m
          MDBBQFiend RE: foodtrip Dec 15, 2009 05:40 AM

          Giant Food carries what you're looking for.

          1. 4
            4X4 RE: foodtrip Dec 15, 2009 09:50 AM

            My Danish sister in law usually buys it at Giant.

            1. g
              Geeyore RE: foodtrip Dec 24, 2009 06:21 AM

              Vita brand pickled herring is widely available in most of the local grocery chains. It always seems to be tucked in around the dairy/butter/horseradish/cold pickles section of the store. Less often around the seafood counters.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Geeyore
                Ziv RE: Geeyore Dec 24, 2009 08:05 AM

                Vita uses high fructose corn syrup now, has for the past couple years. I want corn in my taco, not my fish. Other than that, the Vita does remind me of what my Norwegian aunt used to feed me, albeit a little sweeter & with those little blackish green pepper corns toned down a bit.

                1. re: Ziv
                  lightstays RE: Ziv Nov 26, 2011 01:19 PM

                  I agree. Vita is an insult to Nordic seafood. No grocery store should carry them.

              2. f
                foodtrip RE: foodtrip Dec 24, 2009 08:51 AM

                Thanks to all who replied. I got some yesterday at the Kielbasa Factory in Rockville -- thank you, monavano, for the tip! The product I got is from Poland, which makes sense given that the K.F. is a Polish store. There is no HFCS in it, fortunately.

                That's a VERY popular store at this time of year -- when I walked in there were about 25 people standing in line for the single cash register! Half an hour later I emerged with the treasured jar -- and based on how excited my husband was to see it in our refrigerator, it was time well-spent!

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodtrip
                  flavrmeistr RE: foodtrip Dec 25, 2009 08:36 AM

                  Drain off the brine and mix with sour cream. Awesome.

                2. m
                  MartinDC RE: foodtrip Dec 28, 2009 01:29 PM

                  Seems like the OP is satisfied, but for future reference, try the German Gourmet stores (two locations: Falls Church & Baileys XRoads). They have a pretty good matjessill, imported from either Denmark or Holland, I can't remember. Matjes herring is pretty good as is, but you can probably drain it off and make other sauces to your liking.

                  It's kind of expensive at the German Gourmet. I usually buy my herring at Ikea, where there's more selection and lower prices.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MartinDC
                    MakingSense RE: MartinDC Dec 28, 2009 01:39 PM

                    Or if the OP is in DC, or needs something Metro-accessible, Southern Maryland Seafood at Eastern Market sells pickled herring from tubs. Nice chunks since it doesn't have to be cut so small to fit into little jars.

                  2. d
                    dining with doc RE: foodtrip Nov 26, 2011 01:42 PM

                    You can get pickled herring at kosher mart in Rockville. Not open on friday night or Saturday's since it is kosher
                    Best however is to have it shipped from Barney Greengrass The King of Sturgeon on the upper west side of manhattan. Google and check out their website. Had the absolute best Lox from there on Thursday

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: dining with doc
                      glutton RE: dining with doc Dec 1, 2011 05:00 AM

                      If you're going mail order, then I'd buy it from Russ & Daughters, who I believe has the best smoked fish. Barney Greengrass is good, but Russ & Daughters has a broader range of options (wild caught, farm raised, different types of fish, different preservation techniques) and their quality is off-the-charts good. And if you're ever in NYC, then you have to visit because the Russ & Daughters store is a walk back in time. Plus, it's one of the few places where New Yorkers are civil to one another, perhaps in deference to the calm, kind, and competent fish slicers behind the counter. Wonderful place.

                      1. re: glutton
                        ClevelandDave RE: glutton Dec 1, 2011 10:33 AM

                        +1 Also, had house cured herring at 2 Amys last night... yum!

                    2. crackers RE: foodtrip Nov 26, 2011 06:02 PM

                      IKEA in College Park a good stock of several varieties in its grocery section: with dill, with mustard, with onion & carrot, with sour cream, and with garlic (None of which you will ever see in my cart, mind you. >shudder< )

                      1. n
                        nickdanger RE: foodtrip Nov 29, 2011 10:53 AM

                        For future reference, Magruders in Gaithersburg has pickled herring, and sometimes pickled lox!

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