An Andrew Zimmern-type Experience

I guess we had pushed the limits of our ethnic food comfort zone.

Stan and I both love pickled herring, which is probably weird enough for your typical American Pepsi drinking, Ding-Dong gobbling, Cheetoh crunching isolationist, whose idea of ethnic food is a microwave burrito. I was first introduced to pickled herring when I was a kid, most likely at a Smorgasbord sponsored by the Volvo dealership where my dad got his fist Volvo. Since I liked it, it was probably later bought on a trip to my grandmother’s where my mom could spend a little more freely, not being under the austerity measures of my dad. But don’t quote me on that. I really can’t remember when I was introduced to it, not that it matters.

I’m trying to eat more of it lately because it’s a convenient way to eat fish and get your Omega-3s.

Stan and I went shopping at Metcalfe’s Sentry the other day, which we’re not boycotting anymore because of this. (Warning, facebook link, I think you have to be signed in to read it, and if you’re not, it basically explains that Metcalfe only contributed to Snott Walker in the primary to defeat Neumann and also contributed to many Dems) I mean, we just couldn’t go on continuing to boycott them. We wanted to buy certain food, and sometimes Metcalfe’s is the only place to get them. However, pickled herring is not one of them. Good pickled herring can be found at Jenifer Street Market. But I found some at Metcalfe’s that looked quite intriguing.

It was “Ma Cohen’s Finest Quality Schmaltz Herring Tid-Bits.” This wasn’t your predictable (but tasty) Scandinavian pickled herring with onions and capers. This was Jewish pickled herring. Also note, there wasn’t the word “pickled” in the title. That should’ve been a clue.

Always ones to explore never-tried-before tastes, we ate it last night. Only three small tid-bits each, and Stan will have to finish the rest of the jar. Too much salt. I guess it is soaked in brine. It was sort of like eating an anchovy chunk as opposed to a filet. But you know those thin, edible bones on anchovies? Well, these “tid-bits” had bones but they were more like regular fish bones that you couldn’t really eat and had to pick out because they’d poke your throat. I had to drink lots and lots after that. How can anyone eat that much salt? And what’s with the bones? I’ve never had herring with bones before…pickled herring has always been deboned.

I guess I don’t understand this ethnic treat. I’m sticking with the Swedish stuff.

About Ann

Painter, jewelry-maker, graphic designer, dingbat font creator, imagineer, progressive, liberal, Wisconsinite by birth and later by choice, dog and cat mom, sushi-lover and foodie.

4 thoughts on “An Andrew Zimmern-type Experience

  1. I really like the herring, but all I can eat at one time is a tiny bit, because of the intensity of the salt. I’m glad the article put up by Metcalfe’s supports workers. I suppose they were suckered by the Walker campaign like so many other people.

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