July 8, 2012

Turkish brothers win prestigious herring award

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 1:47 pm

A herring stand in Leiden.

There are few things more Dutch than herring and xenophobia, which makes today’s catch deliciously ironic. Turkish-run, Leiden-based fishmongers Atlantic won the AD Herring Test 2012.

Brothers Abdullah and Umut Tagi were the only fish sellers to score ten points this year.

AD writes:

The first place in the national herring test is the ultimate revenge for the brothers Tagi: “We were always ‘those Turks’ to the rest of the trade, at least, that is how it felt. We have definitely made a mark now that we have won the most important prize there is. […] We are fighting a battle, and that battle is yet to be won. That will only be the case once every Dutch man and woman can enjoy the real thing, traditionally prepared herring.”

The brothers Tagi have been ‘in fish’ all their lives. Fresh out of Turkey, 10-year-old Abdullah helped clear fish waste at the The Hague market, while his mother—pregnant of Umut—cleaned herring in Scheveningen. Today the brothers run two stores in Leiden and The Hague, and a wholesale business that specializes in hand-cleaned herring.

Meanwhile the folks over at DutchNews.nl would like to know, how do you feel about raw herring?

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