This Rotterdam fishmonger wins the Herring Test 2017!

Rotterdam is big when it comes to water and all that’s in it. Nevertheless it’s pretty awesome that a Rotterdam fishmonger has won the national Herring Test 2017. Congratulations to fish shop Ruud den Haan on the Oudedijk in Kralingen!

According to the judges, the herring had a ‘full, creamy, and salty taste’. Score: a well-deserved 10 out of 10! ‘One can only dream of this,’ says an emotional Christian den Haan, 35, one of the three owners of the shop. ‘Of course, you fantasise about winning. And we’ve ranked high before. But that we finally succeeded: there are just no words for that.’

AD herring test
Every year newspaper Algemeen Dagblad visits fishmongers in the whole country to look for the best herring. And each year fishmongers all over the country hold their breath, because it has become quite a big honour to be crowned the number one. This year, Ruud den Haan beat Simonis from Scheveningen, who won two years in a row.

Fish family
Ruud den Haan fish shop is run by twin brothers Robert and Christian and their best friend (actually ‘third brother’) Seth. Den Haan is a household name in Rotterdam. Many people know of Bertus den Haan, great-grandfather of Robert and Christian, who used to sell fish at Noordplein. His son Rinus succeeded him, and after that, Ruud – who decided to open a store on the Oudedijk.

Four generations later, it was only natural for the twins to take over the shop from their father Ruud. A bit earlier than they had hoped, because unfortunately Ruud died when they were only 18. Running a business at that young age was so hard they decided to sell it. But without knowing it, the fish trade had gotten under their skin, and so after just one year they bought the shop back.

In the DNA
Now, about 15 years later, it’s in full swing. The three men cherish their versatile clientele: from businessmen grabbing a quick lunch to older ladies who take the tram especially for them. ‘But even though we like to introduce our customers to all kinds of special and exotic fish, one ancient, Dutch fish is at the centre of it all: the herring. That’s what it started with. That’s what’s in our DNA.’


Sources: AD, website Ruud den Haan




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