Under the Sea in a can

In the short time that the market has been open I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and observing many new people. We have all started to recognize several smiling faces that stop in regularly to stock up on their favorite specialty items.

 One such couple is Kurt and his sweet wife Ruth.  When we started unpacking new products in the early stages of the market I came upon a few boxes of various pickled and preserved Herring.  Roll mops was the first jar I pulled out, and I can only imagine the puzzled look on my face as I looked into the curled fish immobilized in the jar. I’m pretty sure my first thoughts were “what IS this, & who would eat it?” A few weeks later when Theo developed the idea for this blog my uncertain thoughts went towards the Roll Mops & Head Cheese. 

Since Magnolia Square Market opened we have had to re-order jarred Herring 3 times already. Kurt is a big reason for this. I got a call from him this morning asking if we had any in stock yet, making a quick trip to the front I was happy to report that 5 jars were available. After getting off the phone I began to ponder the topic for my blog. The more I thought about it the more it really seemed to make sense. I asked Sydney & Eckhard to keep an eye out and let me know when they came in. I think the best recommendation for food is always the personal approach. After all the most asked question to servers is variations of “What do you like?”

When I was finally given the heads up that they had arrived I had to smile when I walked out and saw Kurt already clearing the shelf. I made introductions and we began to talk. They are both originally from Germany & mentioned how hard it was to find Roll Mops & Bismarck Herring made quite like this. They spoke very highly of the raw fish that was pickled and brined. It was an old favorite that they said goes very well with potatoes….. I wouldn’t know, Kurt got every last jar like always and we were all smiles as we parted ways.

But just before I asked for their recommendations of the other Herring items we had available. They both pointed out several of our canned Herrings. Kurt highly recommended the Fried Herring in Spicy Marinade. I have to say I was really happy he handed me that one because it did sound the most appealing to me of the vast selection.

Taking the brick sized can back to my desk; it came in handy because for a few hours I used it as paperweight.

As the day wore on I started to get hungry and my attention slowly came to focus on break time. Since I had been chatting with Sydney earlier in the day I asked if she wanted to assist me in my blog research. Seeing as how neither of us had ever tried this it seemed like a good idea. She also got to witness my food tasting procedure that I do prior to blog sampling. I also take a lot of photos, which is not what anyone wants when they are eating.


She pulled a chair up to my desk and we opened the can, remarking that it smelled like anchovies. After our first tentative taste tests we began to talk about it. It was vaguely sweet and the vinegar was very light. We could taste tomato, mustard and onions. The onion taste wasn’t surprising because they were thinly sliced and diced in the can. We also saw the cracked pepper and juniper berries.

For a 17.6oz can it held 3 plump fillets, the texture was better than standard canned tuna that can often feel dry or powdery. One was a little tough & chewy but other than that, Sydney and I really enjoyed it. She didn’t like that it still had the bones in it; I however wasn’t bothered by it since the meat was easy to separate. We both agreed that it wasn’t what we’d call spicy.

We were only able to get one of the guys from the kitchen to give it a whirl, and he suggested that it would be really good on toast.  I’m more likely to take Kurt & Ruths’s advice and make a nice baked potato.  That would certainly be a filling meal, heck Sydney and I shared a can and we are both very content.

We ended our lunch break with a smile, and a breath mint.


7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Pam said,

    You have the herring that I love!!!! I can’t wait to get up there and do some shopping.

  2. 2

    Ruth Koerting said,

    Kurt and I are glad, you liked the fried Hering. Kurt likes it with potatoes, mashed, fried or baked. Try the “Bismarckhering on one of your fresh-baked buns (Brötchen) with a thinly sliced pickle and freshly sliced onion on the hering filet. This reminds us of the German “Nordseehalle” a franchise for fast food that serves only fish and seafood and can be found in every bigger city.

    • 3

      I guess I have a good idea what to have for lunch later. Thank you again for your great suggestions. I really did enjoy the fried herring, I actually had another can last week for lunch. I also suggested the canned herrings on my last blog about preparing for hurricanes. Shortly after that we sold out of all the cans!

  3. 4

    Pam said,

    On my last visit, I bought the pickled herring with the orange rind – OMG, it was good!

  4. 6

    Ruth Koerting said,

    Hello; Just wanted to let you know that Kurt and I will be going out of state. I am sure, that you’ll see us after the 19th of September.

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