Blogs | Dieppe seen by Peter Avis
01/11/2010 - 15:43

Fancy a nice herring for tea?

Affiche foire <p>Fancy a herring for tea (or breakfast, lunch or supper)? The place to be is Dieppe on the weekend of 13 and 14 November. There will be herrings galore, mostly grilled on charcoal barbecues, on offer throughout the day from stalls and restaurants all over the centre of town.</p> <p>Dieppe&rsquo;s annual <em>Foire aux harengs et &agrave; la coquille St Jacques</em> warms everybody up in a month when a shivering east wind often does its best to cool us down. The herrings used to be brought into port aboard small fishing boats often crewed by Dutchmen. Today, they mostly come by lorry from Boulogne, off the monster boats than now trawl the high seas (often too vigorously for endangered species).</p> <p>But Dieppe fishermen still land the coquilles St Jacques (scallops), that are equally linked with the fishy festival. Indeed, Dieppe is France&rsquo;s first port for the scallops which, in various guises, appear on most local restaurant menus during the winter months. Considered a delicacy for well-heeled diners today, the scallop was working-class provender in London a century ago.</p> <p>The centre of Dieppe&rsquo;s weekend festival is along the Quai Henri IV, next to the marina. Herrings and scallops are at the centre of a colourful event that is enlivened by street performers, busy sales folk purveying all sorts of products that you need or don&rsquo;t need (try the champagne stall) and fun occasions for the kids.</p> <p>Ten thousand people are likely to visit the quayside during the weekend. They will likely&nbsp; consume a similar number of herrings. And perhaps they will be getting healthier as a result, for the slippery silver fish contains a higher level of Omega-3 fatty acids than does the more favoured salmon.</p> <p>And don&rsquo;t forget the salutary words of Dutchwoman Hendrike van Andel-Schipper, who reported that the key to longevity was &lsquo;&lsquo;keep breathing and keep eating herring&rsquo;&rsquo;. She lived to the age of 115.</p> <p><em>PS: If you want to add a comment to this blog, please click on the link below: 'ajouter un commentaire'.</em><em> </em></p>

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