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This soused herring, served with chopped raw onions and sometimes with bread, can be only called Hollandse nieuwe haring if caught between the months of May and July, when the fish has fattened up by the ideal amount. Strictly speaking, that means a minimum of 16 percent fat. Traditionally, fishermen clean and gut the fish at sea (leaving in the pancreas so enzymes 'mature' the fish) and then preserve them in brine, known as ‘sousing'. Every year, fishing boats are decorated with flags on Flag Day (Vlaggetjesdag), when the first fish of the year are brought in among much celebration. To eat haring the Dutch way, hold the fish by the tail, throw your head back, open your mouth and let the fish slide in. Or you can eat it in a sandwich called a broodje haring.

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