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An oily fish from the Atlantic, hareng (herring) is so important that it inspired the first maritime fishing rights in Northern Europe, where it has long been an essential food, the ‘silver of the sea’.

Boulogne-sur-Mer is France’s capital of herring, where they prepare smoked and salt herring.

Along with herrings slit open to make rollmops (marinated in spices and vinegars, and rolled up in jars) you may see:

chiquetaille de harengs (or souskay): made with salted grilled herring or hareng en saur, chopped and mixed with onions, garlic, parsley, grated carrots, lime juice, hot chili and sunflower oil, and served cold; an aperitif from Martinique.

hareng bouffi: ‘puffy herring’, lightly salted and cold smoked herring, cleaned but not split open before smoking. They often have a distinct yellowish colour.

A kipper is a fish which has been split from tail to head, eviscerated, salted, and smoked. This species is a herring.

hareng en saur (hareng saur): made by buckling (salted for a few hours, and then smoked at a high temperature). Also known as ‘gendarmes’ or kippers.

hareng fumé: smoked herring. Often served in a winter-time potato salad

hareng salé: salt herring

Fish and seafood


Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Gaius Cornelius (based on copyright claims)., Jacob Bøtter