What is Surströmming?

Surstromming is a rotten Swedish sour herring that stinks terribly. At least that is how it was described to me by my Swedish colleagues before my first Surströmming party.

Dealers allegedly advise putting it in a bucket of water because the gas pressure can make the whole thing explode when opened. As you can see in the picture, I didn’t think it was that bad.

Unfortunately, no one could explain to me where this tradition came from.

So where did the idea of throwing a party that eats rotten fish come from?

Surstromming was once an everyday food for farmers in northern Sweden. In spring the herring is pickled in brine, in which it rots until summer. The fish is canned about a month before the Surstromming premiere, which marks the start of the season.

So again, Surstromming is a herring fermented in brine which is not only a delicacy in Sweden, but also a cultural asset. It stinks and the fish cans are about to explode.

And how does it taste?

In the beginning it works because it’s salty. It only gets putrid in the mouth later. So – it definitely does not taste like tuna or chicken. It doesn’t look like, taste like or smell like anything you’ve ever tried before.

We ate it with boiled potatoes, a typical Swedish Tunnbröd and some sour cream. Many of the other non-Swedes at the party wondered how to eat Surströmming. As we say in Bavaria “what the farmer does not know he does not eat” 🙂

Will I eat it again? YES! Cant wait until the next Surströmming party!

Thank you for reading! If you would like to read another Blog Post – Klick here – Topic: Stockholm Winter Walk – Staying active during the cold days

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Published by Marco Strong

Marco & Elias - Inspiring the world for Stockholm 🇸🇪

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