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Thread: Surströmming

  1. #1
    Chapter Master Karak Norn Clansman's Avatar
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    Surströmming

    Apparently the Dane Bloodbeard over on Chaos Dwarfs Online has tasted one of the top contenders for the smelliest food in the world, surströmming (straight translation: "sour herring").

    He claims to have survived the event.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodbeard
    It was freaking gross! We opened the can in a bucket of water. Flies landed on the water surface and died! The herring continued to bubble from all the fermentation.

    It was so disgusting! We ended up burning the remains in a fire. Space Marine purging style.


    Surströmming, which is basically fermented rotten fish in a can prone to bulging, is an infamous Swedish dish, with such a strong odour that birds, those stress-sensitive avians, are rumoured to risk death upon smelling a strong dose of it. It is considered folly to open a can of it indoors.

    Considered by some to be nothing short of a chemical weapon, by others a traditional delicatess best eaten with complimentary stuff on a sandwich, it was recently tested by Americans.

    Curious? Got guts enough to try it? Then see for yourself!

  2. #2
    Chapter Master Kronos's Avatar
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    Re: Surströmming

    I rather want to try srstromming, but not straight out the can, i want to try it the traditional way with bread, onion, cream etc...anchovies out the can are pretty manky, not horrible but not great, on pizza or pasta, amazing.

    Its the novelty of trying it for its revulsion, where it supposed to be an ingredient, sparsely used. Then again i like to try the wierd food of the world, still want try hakarl and casu marzu. I think sustromming may take some beer (or milk) to get into.

    Also for non brits or if there isnt a similar type in your country, jellied eels may just be the worst ive tasted; cold, chewy, slimy and fishy, with a dissatisfying bone to work around.

  3. #3
    Librarian Snake Tortoise's Avatar
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    Re: Surströmming

    Most of my family are Swedish so I've tried it twice before. Truly foul... words can't do it justice. The smell is appalling, and the taste isn't quite as bad but it's hard to force down. I had a mate who would eat anything until I gave him some of this wretched fish and he was vomiting before long

  4. #4
    Chapter Master StygianBeach's Avatar
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    Re: Surströmming

    No way, I can't even handle normal fermented Herring. I think I need a cup of tea...

  5. #5

    Re: Surströmming

    I've made something approximating Garum... and that too smells foul but as an addition to other dishes it does come into its own. Only in tiny amounts though lol

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  7. #7
    Commander veterannoob's Avatar
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    Re: Surströmming

    I had it in Northern Sweden in October. It was made out to be way worse than it is. Open outside, definitely. But I'm the American, already a picky eater, so they watched in anticipation of my reaction and honestly, there was so much bread, silt (jam/sauce), butter and whatever else to mask its awefulness, I'm only sure I got very little actual fish.
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    Chapter Master Kiro's Avatar
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    Re: Surströmming

    Can anyone describe the smell or the taste from personal experience? I'm loathe to take even the word of professional foodies at face value as I know the unwashed masses tend to have lower tolerance points than myself when it comes to food.
    Personally I've always wanted to try this as a novelty because I A)love seafood, and B)have a habit of going out of my way to eat 'exotic' food to be satisfied with the knowledge that I know what it tastes like (I only just had brain last year). And that's coming from someone who's half-Filipino, and we have a dish that is frequently voted the most disgusting food on the planet..
    Quote Originally Posted by MiyamatoMusashi View Post
    Magnus' actions in wiping out most of the Astropaths on Terra when it was already too late just makes him look like a bumbling buffoon. He might as well finish up by saying "Uh-oh, spaghettios!" with a canned laughter track appended, then slipping over on a banana skin accompanied by a comedy whistle sound.

  9. #9
    Chapter Master Bloodknight's Avatar
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    Re: Surströmming

    (I only just had brain last year
    Thb, apart from the thought that you're eating brain, there's nothing icky about brain, neither taste nor texture or consistency. My granny used to make pig's brain and calf brain a lot (the old guys never threw anything away after having slaughtered an animal, bless them for that), it also tastes like nothing much, IMO. I just stopped eating it because of the danger of prion diseases, the eating of nerve material is supposedly a big risk factor.
    As to Balut, I would try that. My guess is that the disgusting part is just what it looks like, but there's probably nothing about it that would trigger a "this is spoiled or poisonous"-reflex like those fermented fish dishes. I wonder what the beak and bones are like, though.
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  10. #10
    Chapter Master Kiro's Avatar
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    Re: Surströmming

    I honestly did not find it remarkable in any way. All I could think of for taste and texture was scrambled eggs with an ever so slightly faint hint of meat. I wouldn't make a habit of eating it, as you say, because of BSE/CJD. Now that I'm back in the States I really want to try Rocky Mountain Oysters, but short of going to Colorado I haven't anywhere locally that serves it :-/

    You're absolutely right about balut, it's all in the looks, which would strike a westerner as intrinsically wrong, since you can actually see what you're eating, as opposed to a disembodied rack of ribs or steak. I think part of why I liked it so much as a kid was precisely because it grossed out my dyed-in-the-wool British dad. As an adult I was able to try some with a girlfriend in England and she was admittedly more eager to try it than I was. Taste wise, it's like salty hard-boiled egg-white with a hint of fishiness. I'm not really doing any favours for the dish's reputation but the actual body of the chick has the texture of, well, crunchy snot.
    Quote Originally Posted by MiyamatoMusashi View Post
    Magnus' actions in wiping out most of the Astropaths on Terra when it was already too late just makes him look like a bumbling buffoon. He might as well finish up by saying "Uh-oh, spaghettios!" with a canned laughter track appended, then slipping over on a banana skin accompanied by a comedy whistle sound.

  11. #11
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    Re: Surströmming

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiro View Post
    I'm not really doing any favours for the dish's reputation but the actual body of the chick has the texture of, well, crunchy snot.
    Hahaha, good to know. Very interesting. I heard of balut last year and I have no particular desire to try it, but I've met people who tell me it really isn't all that bad.

    On the topic of crunchy snot, The weirdest thing I (American) have ever eaten was nattou. You can read about it here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nattō

    Actually, it was nattou sushi topped with an uncooked quail egg. The nattou itself isn't so bad but the combination of it all was a little difficult.
    Quote Originally Posted by Herzlos View Post
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  12. #12
    Chapter Master Kiro's Avatar
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    Re: Surströmming

    Give it a try, don't be afraid. It's reputation is definitely exaggerated for the worse.

    I can't say I've ever had natto but it looks familiar. I think I bought a bottle filled with these thinking it was peanut sauce. I didn't enjoy the taste.
    Quote Originally Posted by MiyamatoMusashi View Post
    Magnus' actions in wiping out most of the Astropaths on Terra when it was already too late just makes him look like a bumbling buffoon. He might as well finish up by saying "Uh-oh, spaghettios!" with a canned laughter track appended, then slipping over on a banana skin accompanied by a comedy whistle sound.

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