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Ma Baensch Herring

Healthy treat for the holidays and beyond

Nov. 27, 2013
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When friends and family gather over the holiday season, herring is often included on relish trays or appetizer tables. Here in Milwaukee, herring lovers frequently reach for hometown favorite Ma Baensch’s herring. Ma Baensch’s story began in 1932 when Lena Baensch started selling her secret family recipe herring to local grocery stores. The business still operates out of the same building on Locust Street that in did in 1945, though it has been owned by Kim Wall since 1999.

Some of the processes involved in production have been updated, but they still hand-pack wild-caught Nova Scotia herring and use the same secret Baensch family recipes. While many think of herring as a holiday treat, this tasty fish is full of omega-3 and calcium, so there are benefits to eating it all year round.

For those who don’t care to eat herring straight out of the jar, Wall offers another way to enjoy the fish:


Ma Baensch Herring Salsa


·  1 24-ounce jar Ma Baensch Herring in Wine Sauce: drain, discard sauce, reserve onions and cut tidbits into quarters

·  1 cup peeled and diced Spanish onion

·  1 seeded, cored and minced jalapeno chili, optional

·  Juice of one lemon freshly squeezed, removing pulp and seeds

·  Reserved onion

·  1 cup cleaned, seeded, cored and diced red bell pepper

·  1 cup fresh cilantro, minced

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss gently. Place Herring Salsa in a large re-sealable container and refrigerate.

Wall suggests putting the salsa in a flour tortilla and topping it with taco fixings for a new take on fish tacos, or serving as traditional salsa with tortilla chips. 


More recipes are available at mabaensch.com.


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