FAT GREEN VIRGINS
His posting is here:
"Another sign of the "slide to the right" could be seen in the Sabbath day culinary habits of members of putatively modern Orthodox synagogues. Post-services refreshments at these places of worship -- the kiddush -- which once featured sweet herrings -- either pickled or cream -- manufactured by old-time American food companies such as Vita and Season, were more and more often supplanted by the more traditional European salty herring, schmaltz, to the point where those who favored sweet herring would be derided by their co-religionists as Amerikainers, Yinglish for Stupid American. "
That's three types of herring mentioned in a posting which also mentions grampa Abe Simpson and onions.
You have my complete attention.
Unfortunately, treither of those three types of herring is, strictly speaking, edible.
Edible herring is green. Meaning so lightly cured as to be by American standards raw, by Midwestern standards unidentifiable, and by Dutch standards food for the soul.
Edible herring is a virgin.
Or as you might know it, a 'matje'.
Meaning a herring caught in mid to late summer, from Middle Dutch ‘maagdje’ (little virgin), modern Dutch demotic ‘maatje’ – in reference to their not having spawned yet. The reason matjes are prized is because in summer they will have recovered from winter (during which they do not eat) and have stored up fat, often having a fat content of over twenty percent, and are in consequence tasty and toothsome.
In the Netherlands (and to a far lesser extent Germany and Scandinavia ) the favoured treatment is removal of the gills, throat, and internal organs, with the exception of the alvlees klier (pancreas), whose enzymes will help ‘cure’ the fish. Immediately upon gutting it is lightly salted and packed in a cold place to ripen. The more salt is used, the longer it can be ripened.
According to Dutch food laws, it must be frozen (quick-freezing is best, as it keeps the flesh firm) for two days before being sold to the consumer, so as to kill the herring nematode. Hence those tasty fillets which you purchase from Van Altena’s spotlessly clean stand in front of the Rijks Museum will be completely safe – the more so because the merchant in question is well-known for the care with which he treats his fish, thawing them properly and keeping them chilled, nicely trimming and cleaning the fillets, and even chopping the onions precisely for the right flavour. Mr. Van Altena is an artist. A national treasure.
In the medine (Judeo-Dutch: the country districts), and especially further inland away from the coast, the preference is for a saltier herring – probably because in the olden days only those held up well when transported. Traditionally the herring sellers would board the trains with buckets of herring to be sold out in the hinterlands, at the consumer’s doorstep. The civilized and lightly salted delicacy we prefer in Mokum (Makom Alef: Amsterdam) would have been long spoiled by the time it was eaten under those circumstances. But with refrigeration, even the amharatzim can experience the farfeintere hoybstodlicher geshmak. Those lucky momzers.
The method used by the Dutch and Flemish for herring was discovered by Willem Beukelszoon Van Biervliet in 1380. Leaving the pancreas in ensures a fish which is tastier and keeps longer – in summer the pancreas produces a surfeit of enzymes which assist in the conversion of food to fat. And the fat gives the fish its divine flavour.
[Little linguistic silliness: Hebraicizing Willem Beukelszoon Van Biervliet might yield 'Ba'al ben Bikal mi Birblat'. Wow.]
Note that while Scandinaviim are fond of matjes herring, they are passionate about surstromming (herring packed in a vat with enough salt to allow fermentation, not enough to preserve it, so that it builds up a reek that can fell a mule, and the pressure might explode the vat), and lutefisk (codfish treated with lye and dried, which tastes like horsehide glue mixed with cat-litter). Both of these substances are considered delicacies and delightful. How strange.
[On shabbes, both surstromming and lutefisk are muktza machmas miyus mamesh (M4). The rest of the week their status is..... debatable.]
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Krum as a bagel can also be visited here:
[A shared blog - with other fine writers]
The other dovbearian guest-posterim are:
And also here:
[The first and last are shared blogs, the last one very much so.]
[Internet whereabouts largely unknown]
Conservative Apikoris /CA /live "frei" or die
[Great intro line to his blog: "Moshe goes to shul to talk to God, I go to talk to Moshe. Hi, Moshe!"]
[At present no active blog]
[Memorable quote: "That is why you are lying in a ditch on the side of the road right now and I am pinning this letter to your shirt."]
[Rumoured to be surfing off Malibu, if certain clues in the Zohar are to be believed.]
The Town Crier (TTC)
And Cousin Oliver.
[Famous man of mystery]