Winners of the Herring Jury 2016

On the opening day of Helsinki Baltic Herring Market, Sunday 2 October 2016, the Herring Jury chose the winners of 2016.

The award for the best seasoned herring went to Liisa Vainio from Taivassalo with 53 points. Second place went to Leif Bergman from Geta, Åland, with 52 points and the third place was awarded to Reijo and Merja Veneranta from Merikarvia for their salt-cured herring.

In the Herring Surprise class, first place went to Åkerfelts Service from Sipoo for their chili and tarragon seasoned herring. Second place went to Leif Bergman, who also had great success in the seasoned herring competition. This time he was awarded for his Lobster herring in which skinned herring was served with a sauce made of mayonnaise, crème fraîche, chili sauce and dill. In third place was Magnus Nyholm from Porvoo with his red onion and cowberry juice seasoned ‘Shoemaker’s bride’ herring. Bergman and Nyholm both received 51 points in the Herring Surprise class, so the draw was decided by the full points from one jury member.

This year, 12 competitors took part in the Seasoned Herring class and 20 in the Herring Surprise class. Thank you for participating!

Herrings were tasted in the party tent in the Market Square during a Sunday brunch hosted by Kenneth Nars, and the audience was also given a taste or two. This year, the jury members were WWF Finland’s Head of Programme Sampsa Vilhunen, Stadin Kundi 2016 Pekka Sauri, founder of restaurant Juuri Jarkko Myllymäki, restaurateur Linda Stenman-Langhoff, and journalist and author Suvi Ahola. Through a public application process, layman member Sampo Riskilä was also included in the jury. According to the man’s friends, he is a gourmand, a fish enthusiast – and excellent company. The winners of Herring Jury 2016 were awarded on the party tent stage at 4pm. The prizes were provided by Helsinki-based designer Jouko Kärkkäinen, from his LOKAL gallery.

“It was an interesting experience. I was surprised by how many different flavour combinations the jury got to test”, says Linda Stenman-Langhoff, who participated in the jury for the first time. However, the restaurateur from Ask is keen to point out that the flavour of the fish should not be covered up.

“I am proud of this Helsinki tradition; it is a great achievement that the event has been kept alive. The fair is a great reminder that Baltic herring can also be eaten outside Christmas time. Finns could easily eat five times more herring than they do now”, says Sampsa Vilhunen, Head of Programme for the Marine Programme at WWF Finland.

This year children also has their own tasting jury at the Helsinki Baltic Herring Market. In the children’s herring jury, now held for the first time, the children learned more about herring and created pictures of sea food under the guidance of Pipsa Hurmerinta, a chef and culinary author. Six enthusiastic gourmands between the ages 3 and 10 participated in the children’s herring jury.

“Pizza was the best”, said Elsa, one of the jury members. The children enjoyed the winning chili-tarragon herring and herrings in creamy sauces the best; they even went for a second helping while drawing their pictures.

Congratulations to all winners!

In the evening of opening day, visitors soothed their full stomachs at the Market Square Dance that started at 5pm with a performance by DJ, fisherman and poet Harri Hertell. The rarely-heard  Tanssiorkesteri Pyöriäiset dance orchestra, i.e. Antto Melasniemi, Joel MelasniemiMikko VirtaKalle ChydeniusJuha Kuoppala and Juho Viljanen performed for market visitors between 6pm and 8pm. After this, market visitors could enjoy Herring Swim and sauna bathing at the Allas Sea Pool until 10pm.


Photo: Eetu Ahanen