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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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herring Clupea harengus, of all fish probably the one which has had most influence on the economic and political history of Europe. (For C. pallasii pallasii, the important Pacific herring, see the end of this entry.)

C. harengus is distributed right across the N. Atlantic, down to the north of France on one side and Chesapeake Bay on the other. Within the species it is possible to distinguish certain ‘races’ which have their own special characteristics. Thus the Baltic herring is smaller than the Atlantic and has a lower fat content. The maximum length of Atlantic specimens is 40 cm (16"), but the common adult length is 20–5 cm (5–7").