It's Your Last Chance for New Catch Holland Herring at Russ & Daughters

[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

This year's season got off to a late start and is now drawing to a close, so take note: if you want some of Russ & Daughters' 2013 supply of new catch Holland herring, now's your chance. In the know herring lovers: hurry! Herring novices, or those who think they don't like herring: this is your introductory fish.

New catch Holland herring is a plump fish caught off northern European waters around, you guessed it, Holland, but also increasingly Scandinavia. It's exceptionally high in omega-3 fatty acids, which means it's so healthy you can eat an unlimited amount it's especially moist and flavorful. The season begins in late spring/early summer, and Russ & Daughters takes in hauls of the new catch every year. They started selling this year's batch a few weeks ago.

Unlike most herring, which is preserved, the new catch herring at Russ & Daughters is essentially raw, hit with just a bit of salt. The flavor is clean and bright, with barely a trace of fishiness; it's also incredibly buttery, perhaps not tuna toro levels, but excellent all the same. If you've always thought herring was too fishy, try this fish and see if it changes your mind.

You can eat the herring straight like sashimi, but the traditional fixings, which the counter folks at Russ will happily prepare for you on the spot, are chopped raw onions and cornichons. Drag the fileted fish through by the tail, open wide, and drop it down the hatch.

The herring are sold by the piece for $4.49 or in ten-packs for $39.95, and will keep for a couple days in the fridge. You can also get one packed in a sandwich, but this is a fish best enjoyed solo. The new catch herring should be in stock for another week or so; beyond that you'll have to settle for the regular (but still excellent) Holland herring until next year.

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the editor of Serious Eats: New York. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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