Just down the road from bustling Amsterdam, our tour begins in Haarlem — a medium-sized town with a cozier feel than its big-city neighbor. In this video clip, we sample Dutch-style fast food, slurping down herring at a traditional stand.
Herring: It Isn't Just for Breakfast Anymore
By Simon Griffith
Checking out new foods can be an adventure. And there are those local delicacies said to be "an acquired taste." Think smelly epoisse cheese in France, dark and gooey marmite in England, or fresh blood sausage in Tuscany. Rick may not be famous for hunting down the finest gourmet cuisine, but he is always game to try something new.
While taping a show in Haarlem, near Amsterdam, Rick wanted to find someone to tell him about the fish stand in the town square that hawks raw herring. He knocked on doors and made phone calls until he finally caught up with his friend Petra. With a little gentle coercion he got her to join him at the stall. The only problem was Petra doesn't really like herring. Rick was disappointed that he managed to find one of the few Dutch people who disliked the coveted fish, but it didn't stop him from persuading Petra to "suggest" otherwise. Fortunately, Jos, the stall owner, and his customers, really are passionate about their herring, which they insisted was really "fresh," not raw.
Petra was a great sport as we shot take after take, each time getting her to say, "Yes, gesond and lekkerrrrr!" (healthy and deeeelicious). Strangely, she seemed to become increasingly enthusiastic rather than frustrated. I think by the time she had eaten several herrings in both "Amsterdam style" (chopped) and "Rotterdam style" (whole, straight down the throat), she may actually have overcome her hesitation. Petra was happy. Rick was happy. Not only did he get a great sequence on a seasonal favorite, but he also came to enjoy the raw, I mean fresh, herring himself.