The word rollmops refers to a pickled herring fillet rolled (hence the name) into a cylindrical shape around a piece of pickled gherkin or an onion. The rollmops is held together with one or two small wooden skewers.

Rollmops are usually bought ready-to-eat, in jars or tubs. The marinade additionally contains water, white vinegar, salt, a bit of sugar or other sweetening agent, onion rings, peppercorns and mustard seeds. Rollmops can be eaten cold, without unrolling, or on bread. After the jar has been opened, rollmops will usually keep for 2-3 weeks if kept cool.

Origins and etymology

The name 'rollmops' is German and Dutch in origin cite book |title=South African Concise Oxford Dictionary|year=2002 |publisher=Oxford University Press|isbn=0-195-71804-6] cite book |title=American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language Fourth Edition|year=2000 |publisher=Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company|isbn=0-395-82517-2|location=] , originating from the words "rollen" (to roll) and "Mops" (German name of pug dogs / "blockhead") . In English usage, the word is sometimes treated as both singular and plural , but at other times as the plural of the singular "rollmop" . (In German, "Rollmops" is singular with the umlaut-plural form "Rollmöpse".)

Rollmops grew popular throughout Germany during the Biedermeier period of the early 19th century and were known as a particular specialty of Berlin, like the similar pickled herring dish "Bismarckhering". A crucial factor in their popularity was the development of the long-range railway network, which allowed the transport of herring from the North and Baltic Seas to the interior. The fish was pickled to preserve it and transported in wooden barrels. In pubs in Old Berlin, it was common to have high-rising glass display cases ("Hungerturm", meaning "hunger tower") on the bar to present ready-to-eat dishes like lard bread, salt eggs, meatballs, "mettwurst" (bacon sausage) and of course rollmops. At the present time, rollmops are commonly served as part of the German "Katerfrühstück" (hangover breakfast) which is believed to restore some electrolytes.


Rollmops are found in Dutch, Scottish, German, Scandinavian, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Brasil and South African cuisine, among others.


In Czech and Slovak, "zavináč", the word for rollmops, is also the word for the "@" symbol.

In German, the word "Rollmops" can have other connotations depending on the situation. In the card game Skat, the "Rollmops" or "Bunter Hund" ("motley hound") is a game of two cards of each variety (trumps and colors). In colloquial usage, it may be a nickname for very overweight persons.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rollmops — Le rollmops est un mot allemand qui vient de rollen (en rouler) et mops (carlin)[1]. C est un filet de hareng mariné, pour un minimum de trois jours, dans une sauce …   Wikipédia en Français

  • rollmops — [ rɔlmɔps ] n. m. • 1923; mot all., de rollen « enrouler » et mops « 2. carlin » ♦ Filet de hareng mariné au vinaigre, enroulé autour d un cornichon. ● rollmops nom masculin (allemand Rollmops) Hareng dont les filets, marinés au vin blanc, sont… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Rollmops — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Rollmops …   Wikipedia Español

  • rollmops — [rōl′mäps΄] n. 〚Ger rollmops, orig. Berlin dial. < rollen, to ROLL + mops, pug dog〛 a fillet of fresh herring rolled up on a pickle or onion and marinated * * * roll·mops (rōlʹmŏps ) n. pl. rollmops A marinated fillet …   Universalium

  • rollmops — [rōl′mäps΄] n. [Ger rollmops, orig. Berlin dial. < rollen, to ROLL + mops, pug dog] a fillet of fresh herring rolled up on a pickle or onion and marinated …   English World dictionary

  • Rollmops — Rollmops, ein gespaltener, mit Pfeffer und Zwiebeln belegter, dann aufgewickelter, mit einem Holzpflock durchstochener und in Marinade eingelegter Hering …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Rollmops — Sm std. (19. Jh.) Stammwort. Von Berlin aus verbreitet. Übertragen aus der Bezeichnung der Hunderasse wegen deren gedrungener Gestalt. deutsch s. rollen, s. Mops …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Rollmops — Rollmöpse …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rollmops — Rolle: Das seit dem 14. Jh. bezeugte Wort (mhd. rolle, rulle) bedeutete zunächst speziell »kleines Rad, kleine Scheibe oder Walze«, dann allgemeiner »rollenförmiger Gegenstand«. Daran schließen sich die im Laufe der Zeit entwickelten übertragenen …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • rollmops — roll|mops sb., en, rollmops, ene (sammenrullet krydret sildefilet) …   Dansk ordbog