Hollandse Nieuwe

Hollandse Nieuwe is the name given to young herring caught between mid-May and the end of June which have a body fat percentage of at least 16%. The fish are gutted and salted but the pancreas containing an enzyme which helps the fish to ripen is left in place. New herring are also known as maatjes, said to be a corruption of maagden (virgin) because their sex organs are not yet developed. The start of the new herring season is always a major media circus.