During the summer months, freshly landed herrings are delivered at Bornholm’s distinctive white smokehouses. Enjoy golden Bornholmers on the Danish Sunshine Island.
On Bornholm the fish is turned from their original silver color into the ‘golden Bornholmers’ dearly loved by Danes. On the island, you see a lot of them, usually by the sea: four-sided pyramids topped by long rectangular smokestacks: Placed over the alderwood fire give them their special taste. Inside sits a man who knows exactly how to do it. He dips a long-handled stick with a rag into his pail of water and runs the wet rag over the embers to create the required smoke.
Related: Scandinavian Herring
Eaten warm or cold
For centuries the abundance of fish in the Baltic Sea has had an important role in the economy of Bornholm. Once there were 135 smokeries on the island, now only a dozen is still in use.
The smoked herrings are either eaten warm from the oven or put on black rye bread, sprinkled with salt, chopped chives, onion and radishes, and topped with a raw egg-yolk – the typical Danish open-sandwich is known as Sol over Gudhjem – “Sun over Gudhjem”.
Related: The Scandinavian Herring Adventure
Delicious Salmon and Herring on Danish Bornholm
Like having lobster in Maine or stopping by a roadside oyster kiosk in Marenne, France, pickled herrings are a lunchtime must on Bornholm. The best spiced herrings are produced at Christiansø Baltic salmon, said to be the finest edible fish in the world, is normally available, too. The act is fraught with protocol. The herring comes whole, still in its shining golden skin; it sits on a newspaper and next to it, within easy reach, stands a chilled Tuborg.
Feature image (on top): Gudhjem, Bornholm. Photo: Visit Denmark
Delicious Salmon and Herring on Danish Bornholm, written by Tor Kjolberg