"the red herrings left on her plate"
Breakfast kipper (Might the egg be a red herring?)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBreakfast kipper (Might the egg be a red herring?) - Credit: Moody 751, Wikimedia Commons

Hearing the term red herring, most people's first thought will be of its figurative use to describe something designed to distract our attention from the main issue.

However, in the past, a red herring was a herring that had been heavily smoked, so that it turned a deep reddish-brown; today, the usual word for any kind of smoked herring is a kipper.

Follow this link to read about the origins of the figurative use of the term.