The new Maatjes are here!

Good news for lovers of the ‘Dutch New’, as the new Maatjes season has started! A little later than usual, but oh how delicious they are again. By the way, did you know that Dutch Maatjes are not only fished on Dutch waters? And from where does the name “Maatje” actually come from?

Although the Maatjes are a little later this year (thanks in part to the bad and cold weather of the past few months), the new Maatjes are su-per delicious! AND they are in time for our Maatjesfestival this weekend. Yes!

Not really ‘Dutch’

Although we pronounce “Maatjes” at once with “Dutch,” maatjes are not as Dutch as we think. In fact, the fatty fish is mainly fished in the sea between Denmark, Norway and Scotland. The reason why they are called “Dutch” then, is because they are processed, cleaned and frozen in the Netherlands. Afterwards, they are only transported to fish shops at home and abroad.

Fished once a year

Moreover, Maatjes are only fished once a year, after which they are frozen piece by piece. This is necessary to kill harmful bacteria in the fish before it can be consumed. The ‘New Dutch’ are Maatjes that are frozen for only 24 hours to a month. Once this stock runs out, there is still stock left for the rest of the year. But the longer you freeze fish, the more it loses flavor. Consequently, those Maatjes can no longer be called “new”.

The name ‘Maatjes’

In turn, the name “Maatjes” is a derivative of the word “maagd” (Dutch) or “virgin”. After all, the Maatjes we love to eat are ones that had not yet reproduced before the catch. But considering “virgin” would be quite an odd name for a delicious raw fish… Surely “Maatje” sounds more appetizing!

Available from Wednesday, 19/06/2024. The season of new Maatjes lasts only a month.