Rigby’s Encyclopaedia of the Herring

A work in progress with no end in sight

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ARCHAEOLOGY

The earliest kitchen middens archaeological record of herring eating and why no earlier herring bones have been found

BALTIC HERRING

On the Baltic herring, Clupea harengus membras, found in the eastern and northern Baltic and in the Gulf of Bothnia

BLACK HERRING

On the ultra smoked and salted herring, a version of red herring, produced more for its preservation qualities than for taste or nutrition

BLOATER

On the original bloater, which may have evolved in the C17th, and the Yarmouth bloater, which was first produced there in 1835

BUCKLING

On the hot-smoked herring delicacy that is buckling and its spiritual home in the small fishing town of Gudhjem on the Danish island of Bornholm

CANNING

A history of canning, the derivation of 'can', sardines, pilchards, herrings and sprats, the great nations and the Great Sardine Litigation

DRIED HERRING

An early method of preservation, continued in Native American cultures of the North West and South Korea

DUMAS ON HERRING

Dumas and his Grand Dictionary of Cuisine, a flawed translation corrected and all its herring jokes and recipes restored

FISH FINGERS

Birdseye Frozen Foods, Clarence Birdseye, Captain Birdseye and the original herring prototype for fish fingers

GOLDEN HERRING

On the golden coloured, more lightly smoked version of red herring, once sold extensively in the Mediterranean, together with recipes

GRANDMOTHER’S RECIPES

The self-indulgent inclusion of two herring dishes appearing in my Sussex grandmother's hand-written collection of strangely intermingled poems and recipes

GREEN HERRING

A very short entry explaining what green herring is, together with a visual explanation of why the silver darlings may have acquired that name

HERRING BHURTA

Cross-cultural creation or adaptation of some genuine Indian recipe to the fish available to returning ex-pats? A dish from Harvey Day.

HERRING UNDER A FUR COAT

Various recipes explored for this classic Russian dish, together with a photograph of one I made earlier

JANSSON’S TEMPTATION

A description of this Swedish dish; consideration of when he was actually tempted and how this might impact on the authenticity of some recipes

JEWISH RECIPES

A selection of fine recipes reflecting the love of herring in the Jewish diaspora (not including ones treated individually in this encyclopaedia)

KIPPER

Oh! The kipper! One of the greatest inventions of the Railway Age! Its Northumbrian origins, preparation, variety and history explored

NASHES LENTEN STUFFE

A brief account of the writing of Thomas Nash's extraordinary late C16th work; its scurrilous red herring origin story extracted in full

NEUCRANTZ: ON HERRING (1654)

Including a complete, illustrated translation of Paul Neucrantz' C17th treatise on the herring together with notes on his sources

OATMEAL

The classic way with fried herring, together with recipe variations and some thoughts on just why oatmeal provides the perfect coating

RED HERRING

Not just a euphemism for a false trail, but a kind of smoked herring that has probably served as a euphemism for a false trail since at least the C16th

ROLLMOPS & BISMARCKS

On the popular German vinegar-based cures, together with an origin story for one of them and a basic recipe for the marinade

SALT

An 8,000 year history of salt and salt pickling, paying particular attention to the preservation of herrings by the German Hanse, the Dutch and the British.

SARDINES

The sardine in cans, on the slab and in popular culture; the limits of self-identification for herrings and non-European pilchards

SCHMALTZ HERRING

An attempted exploration of exactly what this is, despite disagreement among its advocates and loose definition amongst suppliers

SILVER HERRING

Somewhere between the modern bloater and the golden herring, popular in the Mediterranean - particularly in Italy

SMOKEHOUSE TALES: GERRY SKEWS

A new Lowestoft smoker, an old smokehouse and red herrings among the kippers, bloaters and many other hot and cold smoked products

SMOKEHOUSE TALES: WILL BUCKENHAM

One of the last red herring smokers, Will Buckenham in Lowestoft produces these, along with bloaters and kippers in the country's oldest working smokehouse