Saturday, 5 October 2013

Weird, Salty, Yummy!

My cat didn't waste any time while I was taking this photo!
I did promise you (on my Recipes page) that I will be writing about some weird Russian food. Yesterday I saw a Facebook link to the 17 bizarre foods every Russian grew up with, which reminded me of the salted herring I bought in my local Polish shop. It was time to use it!

Oh, the herring! It is an absolute staple. It used to be a cheap alternative to meat and was eaten at least once a week in the cold months by all.

We don't really eat herrings fresh or smoked (like the Brits with their kippers), we get them marinated in oil and brine. Back home they used to come in huge wooden barrels or massive tins. With heads and everything, and were a bit of a pain to prepare.

They now come filleted and require virtually no work. So no excuses!

One of the brands widely available in the UK
How to Eat Herring in Brine

There are dozens of types of herring available. You can get it marinated in vinegar, wine and other 'sour' liquids - Scandinavian style. But I prefer herring simply marinated in olive (or sunflower) oil and brine. It's widely available in all East European shops and some supermarkets which stock East European food.

As you can expect it tastes quite fishy and salty. And that's the beauty of it.

You can serve with raw thinly sliced onions and a dash of olive or sunflower oil. It goes beautifully with mashed or crushed potato.

Or make an open sandwich out of it. Rye bread and butter work the best. But any bread with crust or even a toast would do.

You don't need much (it is rather salty), but it gives your carbs a lovely kick!

There are many other ways of using herring. Including 'farshmak' - herring pate and 'shuba' - a salad with herring and winter veg. Yes! You've guessed it - weird! Watch this space.

No comments:

Post a Comment