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August 27, 2006


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Man, I am WITH YOU on the herring = wellbeing metric. On my first trip to Poland's Baltic coast, the girl I went to visit made sure that I sampled every possible variation on herring (led) available. Which is a lot of variations. My relationship with herring has never been the same since. Nor with the girl, who is now my wife.

Glad to hear your trip went well. I want to see the BogMan.

Bernard Guerrero

I'm assuming we're talking about some form of pickled, jellied or otherwise uncooked herring? If so, I'll have to take your word on it. One of the few things I dislike, food-wise, is the lutefisk/gefilte fish family of dishes. I enjoy a nice yellowfin sashimi or some anchovies cooked into a pasta putanesca, but the jellied stuff makes me shudder.


I understand your trepidation, Bernard, having grown up in the lutefisk zone. These weren't jellied. Marinated, smoked, gently fried, or turned into a rather scary-looking -- but delicious -- p/u/d/d/i/n/g/ mousse. (At this point I was in the herring zone.) The aquavit acts as a complement to the flavor of the herring, not as an anaesthetic.

A good rule of thumb regarding seafood: the people who eat it daily generally know the what for. The people for whom it's an ethnic marker at holidays, not so much.

Andreas Morlok

You forgot the most important thing: How was the
conference banquet ?


The New York City Math Teacher

I see smoked (check), marinated (check), gently fried (*), and mousse (*).

I envy you, man. The asterisks stand for the preparations requiring (or allowing) green herring, which is, of course, uncured freshly caught fresh herring, which is about 168 miles away from cured herring on the dirt track from Preserveddorf to Freshberg.

Green herring is the bomb, dude. Like fish filet-mignon. Tender, oily (brain-good omega-3 fatty acids), aromatic - zesty scrumptious.

A good entry level green herring preparation is the herring with boiled potatoes en papillote.

Jussi Jalonen

For a native man of the North who has grown up regarding these simple dishes as ordinary, everyday staples, it's always amusing to see people from other countries going on all worshipful over them.

Sure, herring is excellent, but well, from my viewpoint, this is a bit like singing praises to boiled potatoes.

For something rather more special than herring, I could mention that we're having our lamprey season in Satakunta right now. Nothing beats the taste of a smoked carrion-feeder! Why, an old tradition in Nakkila is to use the corpse of one's mother-in-law as a lamprey bait. Just throw the remains of the old battleaxe to the river immediately after she's dead and collect the delicious little boneless fishies from her cavities on the next day...


The New York City Math Teacher

Oh, Jussi - the wonder of the commonly uncommonly good is just that - such a pleasant thing as good herring percolates through the filter bed of life leaving a filtrate of happiness, instead of a quotidian scum of despair.

But lampreys? Ew. Even leaving out the bit about aged grandmothers (and why grandmothers and not, say, reindeer?), lampreys are squick factor four. Give me detritovores of inscrutable diet!

Another familiar wonderful thing commonly underappreciated - coffee. Hooray for coffee!

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