You'll be herring from my lawyer, Dutch fishmongers tell paper

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People eat herring during the 70th edition of the Vlaggetjesdag (Flags Day) on June 16, 2017 in Scheveningen, to celebrate the new herring season. - AFP



THE HAGUE - Two disgruntled Dutch fishmongers are dragging a national newspaper to court after it accused them of selling "rotten" examples during a nationwide test of the country's favorite snack: Raw, salted herring. Every year from around mid-June, the Dutch consume millions of herring with one of the country's most iconic images featuring a citizen dressed in traditional garb while munching down the small fish. But lawyers "filed a complaint yesterday (Tuesday) for defamation, slander and fraud," against the popular daily tabloid Algemeen Dagblad, said Michael van Basten Batenburg whose client Lon Oosterbroek has been fingered by the AD - one of the most popular Dutch papers - for selling "rotten", "smelly" herring with "muck" during the newspaper's highly publicized annual herring test. Some 150 fishmongers around the country are judged by the quality of their product including cleanliness, fat and salt content, smell and taste. Oosterbroek's fish scored a round zero in the test that has been around for the past 35 years. Supported by other aggrieved fishmongers, Batenburg based his complaint on a recent report by an economist at the southern Tilburg University who called the AD's test results "unreliable". Batenburg, who expects an answer from legal authorities within the next month has even suggested that the competition results may have been rigged. Also called "Hollandse Nieuwe" or "maatjes" herring, the fish are caught in the North Sea and processed to a unique Dutch recipe where they are salted in a barrel for one to four days. It is traditionally eaten held by the tail with the consumer tilting their head back and chomping away. - AFP


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