Herring are generally small (ranging between 1/4 and 1 pound) and silvery. However, the American larger (3 to 5 lb) shad, is prized for its eggs (shad roe).
SARDINES, are young herring. Fresh herring are only available during the spring on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. When fresh, the high-fat herring has a fine, soft texture that is suited for baking, sautéing and grilling.
The herring's flesh becomes firm when cured by either pickling, salting, smoking or a combination of those techniques. There are many flavor variations of prepared herring.
Rollmops are Bismarck herring fillets wrapped around a piece of pickle or onion and preserved in spiced vinegar.
Bloaters are larger than kippers but treated in a similar manner. They have a slightly milder flavor due to a lighter salting and shorter smoking period. Their name comes from their swollen appearance.
Schmaltz herring are mature, higher-fat herring that are filleted and preserved in brine.
© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.
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