Friday, July 29, 2011

A Vegetarian in Search of Meat

Coming back to Wisconsin has made me fairly nostalgic for many things, especially things that tie to family or college somehow.

I've reminisced on days when I was still looking forward to having two digits in my age, lazing around Grandma and Grandpa's or spending time just with Mom. I've rejoiced in spending time with college friends again - or at least knowing they're much closer than two days away. I've thrilled at having a variety of good-quality fruits and veggies close at hand (the fridge makes my heart jump excitedly sometimes).

But there is one thing I've really been wanting and haven't been able to have, because it's a meat-product. Bratwurst is your first guess, I bet. Nope, not bratwurst. Nor hamburger or any other cookout food.

The food I've been missing and craving more than anything lately is pickled herring.

Such a delicacy is a thing often served at salad bars in Wisconsin (for some odd reason). There was usually a jar at Easter or Thanksgiving dinner, between the rutabagas and lefse. And it's definitely one of those Norwegian acquired tastes, much like a certain well-known stinky fish.

Pickled herring isn't nearly so bad as lutefisk, though. If you like fish and pickled things, chances are you'll like pickled herring. It's not the most visually appealing thing in the world, being white and squishy and kind of slimy, but most Norwegian food has at least two of those qualities.

I wasn't expecting to want that so badly, and I haven't really looked for it, but I'm guessing there is no humanely raised and slaughtered pickled herring out there. At least, not at a decent price. As I browsed the internet looking for something of the sort, I came across this blog (subtitled "A microbe herder's almanac"), which has a recipe for homemade pickled herring and shows how to filet fish.

I really don't think I could do that. Eugh. Maybe if this craving keeps on for several years, I'd be willing to try it. But definitely not right now.

In short, if anyone knows where I can get humanely raised and slaughtered pickled herring... I'll be here, waiting to give you my eternal thanks.

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