This product is found in the health food/organic aisle in my Giant.

Health food. Herring in sour cream. Does not compute.

I’ve had my eye on this one for a while, but the fear has always stopped me. It is extreme. This week I put on my big girl panties and grabbed the jar. Pray for me.

Smell: Like pickles and fish. The pickled scent comes from the vinegar listed on the ingredient list. For the first time I seriously considered not eating a product. I knew I had to perservere.

Appearance/Texture: It looked like creamy baby vomit with large silvery chunks. The cold sour cream felt like death and sadness on my tongue.

Taste: When I started this column, I made a promise to Eick that I would not swear. I don’t think he is watching so I am letting it rip: this was the most fucking disgusting shit I have ever eaten. The fish and the vinegar and the creaminess made me gag. I am a woman with a strong constitution and I nearly lost my dinner.

Final Verdict: Are you kidding me? Really?! Step away from the fish in a jar.


Lemmonex writes almost daily about food, life, and her fear of children on her blog, Culinary Couture.

72 Responses

  1. Andrew Hatfield

    Loved Pickled Herring since my father introduced it to me. Love it now. Good on Wasa bread, or any cracker. Wine sauce or sour cream. Yum, yum!!!

  2. Nan

    Love this. I grew up having it on Christmas and New Years. It was a family tradition (Hungarian, Swedish and German). It is just not the holidays without it!

  3. shaz

    I sure would like to know how your blog came up first when I googled ‘herring in sour cream.’
    This is a tradition in many cultures for New Year’s Eve. It’s so popular that sometimes it is hard to find in the grocery stores.

    If you want ‘vomit’ on a plate, try biscuits and gravy. I have a hard time sitting at the same table when my husband has it for breakfast!!!

    Another disgusting meal –
    pickled pigs feet in what looks like gray gelatin.


    There are a lot of people commenting on a food blog who should really refrain from doing so — because they are narrow-minded and unwilling to appreciate interesting new tastes. Herring in sour cream is an amazing dish in many cultures — Jewish, Scandinavian, Central European. We love to enhance the bottled version (or make the dish from scratch) by adding diced fresh apple and diced sweet onion, and serving (very cold) with cocktail-sized rye. What a treat! Even with vastly different dishes, many other cultures create dishes that blend sweet, sour, and salty — even millenia-old Chinese food.

  5. mike harr

    Vita Herring in Sour Cream tastes great to me! Some of these comments are in very bad taste and making some ugly fun of food some people like is simply immature mentality.
    Vita herring is healthy and I love it.

  6. Steve

    This is a delicacy that goes back to my childhood. It was almost a rite of passage. When you politely asked for some from the adults (who were protecting it with their lives, so it would not be wasted..) They would be both amazed and proud (especially the parents) when you ate it and asked for more. I love it to this day.

  7. Gary

    You are biased and have bad taste period, herring with sour cream is not only good it’s one of the best tasting foods I have tried! Unfortunately it’s very expensive and I could easily eat a whole jar in one sitting . It’s refreshing tastes fantastic, great creamy texture and almost melts in your mouth. And I don’t have unusual tastes at all!! You want something that really makes you gag try cilantro !! Ugh just the smell makes me want to puke!! You my friend have no taste!!!

  8. San Juan KId

    For me, herring in any form is delicious. I eat the kind pickled in sour cream, in wine sauce, tins of about 7 oz. in smoked herring and the famous Swedish herringsald found in many Scandinavian smorgasbord restaurants.

  9. Larry

    My parents were Polish & Lithuanian Jews, and I grew up eating marinated herring, which my mother made herself. I like it. I like Vita brand ok too. The sour cream kind isn’t my fave, but it’s not bad.

    Now gefilte fish, that’s one jarred product that’s really awful. I have to agree on that with a previous poster.

    That being said, I like your writing. “death and sadness on your tongue” made me and my wife laugh. And my wife is German, and also likes herring in sour cream. 🙂

  10. Brian

    This stuff is delicious! I like the wine sauce one better, the sour cream is meh. I don’t have to eat it with crackers I can eat it straight. Maybe it’s because I grew up eating it (not often). I’m not a picky eater. It could also be my Swedish genetics.

  11. Anna

    I tried this exact brand and type and I tried to like it, but it was too fishy tasting. I like the wine sauce one a lot, but they were out, so I thought I’d try this. I thought maybe there was something wrong with it, so I’m glad I found this to reassure myself it’s just not for everyone. Maybe as others said, another brand would be better.

  12. al

    I love this stuff and cant get enough of it. The price keeps me from eating it every day. I have it straight out of the jar. Wish i had some now.

  13. Bill

    When I was a kid in the 50’s living in Dearborn, MI… our family (on special occasions) would go to dinner at a restaurant on Michigan Avenue. Sadly, I do not remember the name of the restaurant. But… their salad bar included creamed herring, and because my father liked it… I also gave it a try (perhaps as young as 6 or 7 years old). I have been hooked ever since. Can’t get enough of it! Really… it isn’t as bad as described… it is actually very good. Trust me (?).

  14. Daniel B. Martin

    Herring in cream sauce is one of the most delicious foods in the world. If you can imagine fish as candy, this is it. Best served with a crusty bread. I would have it more often if the price were lower.

  15. Allen

    Are you fucking me? This shit is fucking good. You are tasting with your eyes and the battle was lost before you put it in your mouth. I’m eating this shit right now – yummy!

  16. Renee Dugan

    You shouldn’t be writing a food blog if herring in sour cream makes you gag. Go eat some hamburger helper & skittles, dummy.

  17. bonnie Lawarance

    Do you sell containers larger than 30 ounces of herring in real sour cream I love it so much I want a larger container if you have any. Im on food stamps and anything is cheaper in larger quantities. Plus I stay in a motel room so I have to save money and I live 1/2 block from woodmans in beloit, wi.


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