Experiment: How Bad Can it be?! Trying out Smelly Swedish Surströmming (fermented fish).

“Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” – Benjamin Franklin


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At the moment, with a lovely little baby at home, it’s easier to check off smaller items on the bucket list than big ones. Trying Surströmming, Swedish fermented fish, was one of those smaller items on my list!

🔸WHAT?
Fermented herring, or ‘surströmming’ in Swedish, is best known for its horrible smell. It has the quality of hangover fart. It’s distinct, inescapable and has a warm texture to it. Check out #surströmming , #surstromming or #surstömmingchallenge to get an idea of what you are up against.


🔹WHY?
It’s been a part of the northern Swedish cuisine since the 16th century. As a Swede I should probably try and see what’s up?!

🔸 HOW?
It’s traditionally eaten on a hard bread with chopped onions, potatoes and sour cream. As for drinks; Beer and snaps!

🔹 WHEN?
Since the 1940:s the premiere for surstömming has been on the third Thursday I August.

🔸 FUN FACT: According to a Japanese study, a newly opened can of surströmming has one of the most putrid food smells in the world.

⚖️ VERDICT: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

With the associated side dishes the herring isn’t too bad (don’t get me wrong, the smell is terrible but you get used to it after a while.) and the liquor and drinking songs that goes with it helps making it all worthwhile. Though a crayfish party (another Swedish tradition) is much tastier a surströmming dinner might be more memorable! Skål! 🍻


Check out more the full list of experiments!