The Herring Culture

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Our Scandinavian herring is commonly known as an Atlantic herring and is one of the most abundant fish species in the world, and is abundantly present at any Swedish table. The Swedish love for herring runs deep.

Marstrand, a popular vacation getaway for sailing Swedes displays its passion for herring with three emblazoned on its city coat of arms. Marstarnd's history with herring goes back centuries as the center of the European Herring Industry.

Sour Herring or, Surströmming, is a pungent, fermented herring traditionally prepared weeks in advance to be eaten in August fully outdoors to dispel the odor.

More often this oily fish is pickled, smoked, or preserved to last throughout the winter season and all year round. Need a snack? Pickled Herring, a sprig of dill, sliced hard boiled egg and a potato on a slice of rye bread is perfectly Swedish and fits perfectly with our Sill Table Runners.

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Want to try your hand at making this Swedish staple? We want to try Honest Food's version below.

Swedish Pickled Herring

A classic recipe for Swedish pickled herring called glasmastarsill, or glassblower’s herring. Herring, sardines, smelt or whitefish can all be pickled this way.


Makes 3 pints

Prep Time: 1 day, 1 hour

Cook Time: 5 minutes

    • 1/4 cup kosher salt
    • 5 cups water, divided
    • 1 pound herring fillets
    • 2 cups distilled or white wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seed
    • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
    • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 3 cloves
    • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
    • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
    1. Heat 4 cups of water enough to dissolve salt. Let this brine cool to room temperature. When it does, submerge the herring fillets in the brine and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours. Meanwhile, bring the sugar, vinegar, the remaining cup of water and all the spices to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let this steep until cool.
    2. When the herring have brined, layer them in a glass jar with the sliced lemon and red onion. Divide the spices between your containers if you are using more than one. Pour over the cooled pickling liquid and seal the jars. Wait at least a day before eating. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.


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