“Surströmming” is a fermented, lightly salted, Baltic Herring used as a traditional, highly-prized delicacy in the Swedish cuisine.
It’s made from the Baltic Herring which is caught prior to its spawning in April and May, usually fermented in a sealed can for 6 months.
During the process, salt is used to prevent the rotting, but when the can is opened, it will have a strong putrid smell and acidic taste according to the people who ate it before.
Japanese scientists studied a freshly opened can of surströmming and deemed it one of the most putrid smelling foods in the world, even stronger than the one used in their own culture which is called “kusaya” or in the Korean cuisine which is called “hongeohoe” (salted, dried fish).
Origin of the term
“Surströmming” has been a part of North Swedish cuisine since at least the 16th century, but not the oldest known fermented fish dish in the European countries.
The oldest archaeological finds of fish fermentation are 9200 years old, which came from the Roman and Greek territories.
Spread of the term
“Surströmming” is a Swedish traditional food dish so it popular among the Swedish people but not all of them like it.
The term and food on the internet became famous due to a challenge video series on YouTube, where people try their best at eating the infamous fish dish.