June 18th (2015) will kick off the newest season for herring in The Netherlands. It’s only fished from Mid-May to Mid-July every year so this is the freshest it’ll be. After that it’s frozen and slowly thawed over the rest of the year. This year’s herring is delayed because of a cold spring. Specialists wait for the fish to be fattiest before they officially allow them to be sold.
Yes, this is how serious the Dutch are about their herring. To have specialist and official seasonal launches. The first barrel is given to the Royal family and auctioned off; with this year’s proceeds going to the elderly funds.
I’ll be honest and say it’s not my favorite Dutch speciality but they love it and if you are looking for something really and truly Dutch then find a stand and bottoms up!
I recommend the fish stand which is located behind the Royal Palace on Dam (not open Sunday’s unfortunately). Right next to the Albert Heijn. But they are all over the city.