Surströmming is made by preserving the raw herring with just enough salt to prevent it from rotting, then left to ferment for at least 6 months. A Japanese study ranks it as one of the most putrid food smells on the planet.
Surströmming day is the 3rd Thursday in August – in 2018 this falls on the 16th August.
Surströmming translated to sour Baltic herring. Tempting, ey?
How to eat it? A common way is to have it in a ‘klämma’ – a ‘squeeze’. Take two pieces of (crunchy) flatbread and spread with sliced or crushed boiled potato, add the surströmming, squeeze and enjoy. Alternatively, place on a soft flatbread with potato, sour cream and some raw onion. Eat as a wrap. Think of it as the Swedish burrito.
Whatever you do – NEVER open the tin inside. To say the smell is strong is an understatement. And it lingers.
Beer and aquavit are commonly served along with it – but milk, too, is a common drink.
Surströmming is so smelly it is forbidden on most airlines.
Despite (or because of – we don’t know) the smell – surströmming is very popular in Sweden, and many await the season with anticipation, dreaming about the first taste of this speciality.
Our Jonas had a chat with a lovely chap from the Telegraph a few years ago – to find out what he thought have a look at the resulting video here, or click here to read about it.
Have you tried it? What did you think? Share in comments please – we’d love to hear your thoughts on this smelly subject.
Sometimes, when we want to giggle, we watch this clip of our Jonas in Hyde Park making the poor journalist from The Telegraph Newspaper try Surstromming fermented herring.
It’s worth the 3 minutes of your life.
Surstromming is fermented herring – the smell is so bad when you open it that people only ever do so outdoors. It is very strong. However, it is a delicacy in Sweden and is eaten with flatbread wraps, potatoes and sourcream.
NOTE: Always store the tin chilled, never open inside, the tin will squirt when you open it due to pressure – and it is illegal to take onto most airplanes. So, now you know.
Please note that all orders placed after 12th of December have missed the pre-Christmas deadline and will therefore not be shipped until January.
Our café & shop in central London is open until 23rd of December and will continue to get stock daily. Happy holidays! Dismiss