Herring Pickled, Kippered, Canned, Dried etc.
[Family Clupea, various genera and species]
Herring is a small oily fish that preserves well in various ways, and all these ways are exploited. The photo shows a whole Atlantic Herring, salt pickled in brine. When Central and Northern European recipes call for whole herring, this is what they mean. They will usually ask you to soak it overnight before use to reduce the salt. See also Canned Sardines, smaller members of the Herring Family.
More on the Herring Family.
This photo is of a pair of pickled herring fillets from Lithuania, a significant producer of this sort of seafood treats since the fall of the Soviet Union. These were about 6-1/2 inches long and weighed about 2-1/4 ounces each. Pickling is a very popular method of preparing herring, because the acid in the pickle softens the thread-like spines that are shot all through the flesh to the point they are undetectable.
Many recipes can be found for making your own pickled herring, nearly
all starting with the brine pickled Atlantic herring as pictured at the
top of the page, then adding flavors and vinegar.
Technically, kippered herring are herring that have been split open,
salted and smoked. They are made during the spawning season when the fish
don't taste very good without this treatment. Most Americans have never
seen a real kippered herring but are familiar with the version that comes
in a can, generally called "kipper snacks". Kippers are a breakfast
staple in the British Isles and Scandianavia.
These salted and dried Tunsoy herring are much in evidence in Philippine
markets here in Los Angeles, along with a number of other small fish
similarly treated. For details see our
Daing / Tuyo page.