When I was thinking about the topic of my next post, I recalled another dish commonly served in Russia - salted herring.
Salted fish has always been very popular in Russia, as we have seas and rivers all around our country. Therefore, we have always eaten a lot of fish, and we have been adding salt because refrigerators haven't been very widespread up until recently.
Of course we also love all kinds of salmon and trout and sturgeon. However, some of them are very expensive, and others almost disappeared from the rivers, we have to replace them with cheaper kinds of fish like herring, which is really tasty if cooked in a right way.
Oh man, I would die to have one right now!
Besides, the Russian cuisine in whole is well compatible with this kind of dishes. For example, salted herring is fine with boiled potatoes and bread, which is already a complete and tasty lunch for many people.
Herring also compliments Russian bread very well,
especially the dark one. And of course it’s one of the favorite snacks with vodka - for those who love it, of course. I can't say it’s very delicious, but it’s the usual way to drink it.
I don’t mean the cases when you have a nice dinner and
you have a little bit of vodka as aperitif. I am talking about the cases (that are unfortunately very common), when the purpose is just to drink vodka, and you have to eat something to take away the taste. In this case
the usual set of appetizers is bread and salted cucumbers, salted mushrooms or salted herring.
To be objective I have to add that if you do not drink a lot of vodka but just a little bit of it together with all of those, it’s tasty indeed
Alright, let's get back to the herring - in our family we usually cook it in a very simple way. Like most of the people, we buy salted herring is a shop. Usually it’s a huge barrel with a lot of herrings in it - just fish, salt and water, nothing special. Back at home, you need to cut and clean it, throw away heads, tails and all the insides together with bones.
Once you've cleaned the fish, you cut it into pieces and put on a plate. Then, you put on top of it a lot of
onion rings and pour it with wine vinegar, with wine or with lemon juice. You can also add a little bit of
nutmeg if you like it.
Yum, yum - give me some!
I have to mention that most of the people also add sunflower oil. But to me, the herring has enough fat already, and I don't think adding oil will do it any good. However, if you only add vinegar or wine - it's delllllllicious!
As for wine - you can add any dry one. Even red dry wine is good, and it’s also very tasty. Besides, it gives the herring a good color.
If you have a big fish and will not eat all at once, you can put the pieces of it to a can for storage in a
fridge. In this case, you can add some cloves or allspice. The herring will become more spicy and fragrant
until the time you will eat it afterwards.
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