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Sliced Herring Fillets in Cream Sauce

Description. Cured fish of any sort is guaranteed to motivate furious debates along any number of axes: how fishy is too fishy vs. “oy: it’s fish”; when to pair sweet with salt; rye-pernickel bread, clever solution or unholy hybrid. Addressing the sliced herring fillet, we will confine ourselves to a mere two of these arguments. The first: whether a snack is the same thing as a nosh.

As scientists, we at the B.A.R.F. must refrain from any final or permanent judgment in the matter; we will merely illustrate the reasoning, to wit: many consider a snack a food item that, while it may augment a meal, is not a meal substitute; a nosh, meanwhile, is understood as composed of meal components, but consumed in smaller quantities and grazing style — often at the same in-between times as a snack, but differing from a meal in degree, rather than as a snack does, in kind.

The herring fillet is widely seen as a noshable, like whitefish salad or lox; it may not represent an entire meal, but merely part of one, or something to nibble during Mother’s Day brunch. A forkful of the leftovers spread on a mini-bagel is clearly, on a figurative basis, a snack…but certain purists insist that a protein is never a snack…or that, if you have to use a utensil to create it, it is not a snack…or that an oversalted and mealy fillet studded with softened bones and topped with a too-sweet slurry of cream and red onions is not fit for human consumption in the first place.

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