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A rollmop is a cleaned pickled herring without head, fins or bones that is rolled up with spices and a vegetable inlay (for example: gherkin or onion) to a cylindrical shape. A small skewer made from wood or plastic holds it together.

The filling of the rollmop should not make up more than 20% of the total weight. Some rollmop varieties are also smoked.

Rollmops may have different sizes and are produced from a half herring, a strip or from a herring fillet with or without skin.


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Homemade rollmop

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Rollmop may easily be prepared at home. Salted herring fillets are soaked in water, spread with mustard and rolled up with a piece of pickled gherkin or onion in the middle. A toothpick holds its shape. The rolled fillets are then transferred to a preserving jar and topped with a hot marinade made from vinegar, water, onions, peppercorns, laurel leafs, and mustard seeds. Close the jar and let the fish marinate for 4 - 5 days.


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Origin of rollmop


Rollmop is an invention of areas without coast where fresh fish was not available easily. The word Rollmops is German in origin (roll = to roll, mops = pug dogs) but rollmops are also found in other areas such as the Scandinavian, Scottish, Czech and Slovak cuisine. In Germany it is an essential part of a hangover breakfast and in some parts of Germany like Berlin it accompanies certain hard liquors in bars.


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