Herring sales boom and top restaurants put them on the menu

The comeback kipper: Herring sales boom and top restaurants put them on the menu as Michelin star-winning chef Richard Corrigan says he would eat them ‘every day seven days a week’

  • Kippers were once seen as the breakfast of indulgence across the country
  • After falling out of favour, the kipper is having a comeback among young folk 
  • Herring sales have boomed in the last year according to the Marine Stewardship Council and it is most popularly enjoyed soused in vinegar or smoked as a kipper
  • UK sales last year increased by 6 per cent over previous year to 2,365tonnes

It was once the breakfast of indulgence across the country, perfect with buttered toast and a cup of hot tea, before it fell out of favour.

But now, the kipper is having a comeback – as younger folk increasingly turn to it over avocado toast and it returns to the menus of Britain’s top restaurants.

Herring sales have boomed over the last year according to the Marine Stewardship Council, and it is most popularly enjoyed soused in vinegar or smoked as a kipper.

Michelin star-winning chef Richard Corrigan, who runs Bentley’s and Corrigan’s in Mayfair, said he has just put herring on his menu.

Herring sales have boomed over the last year according to the Marine Stewardship Council, and it is most popularly enjoyed soused in vinegar or smoked as a kipper. Pictured: Herrings hang on tenterhooks ahead of being smoked to make kippers (file photo)

He told the Daily Mail: ‘I am a huge fan, let’s get used to them, they’re incredibly healthy. It will be on our Bentley’s menu, very lightly pickled with a pickled cucumber salad.

‘Kippers have bounced out of the breakfast buffet onto the menus of London’s finest restaurants. A beautiful kipper crumbled very lightly and put into an omelette with garlic shoots…absolutely delicious.

‘It’s a British fish, it’s a cultural phenomenon. No one does it like the Brits when it comes to a smoked kipper. I’d have kippers every day seven days a week. I smile after having a kipper.’

Herring sales, endorsed as sustianable fishing by the Marine Stewardship Council, are at record rates.

In the UK, herring sales last year increased by 6 per cent over the previous year to 2,365tonnes.

Consumer spend on herring hit a record £12.8m this year, a 16 per cent rise from two years ago, and a 67.8 per cent increase from 5 years ago.

Michelin star-winning chef Richard Corrigan, who runs Bentley’s and Corrigan’s in Mayfair (pictured), said he has just put herring on his menu

Richard Corrigan (pictured) told the Daily Mail: ‘I am a huge fan, let’s get used to them, they’re incredibly healthy. It will be on our Bentley’s menu, very lightly pickled with a pickled cucumber salad.’

Herring was hugely popular in Britain in the 1970s, but overfishing led to a five-year ban.

In that time, it fell out of fashion – and after stocks improved, and fishing resumed, most was sent to Europe.

A spokesperson from the MSC said that herring is now one of the most sustainable fish to eat, much more so than yellowfin tuna and seabass.

‘By introducing sustainability measures, the Scottish fishing fleet is now one of the leading sustainable fishing fleets left in Europe.

‘There are lots of interesting ways to use herring, such as Hollanse Nieuwe, or soused herring, as well as maatjes herring’, herring in oatmeal, a variety of marinated herring, and, of course, the kipper.’ 

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