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What is Sweden: Rotten Fish

April 9, 2011

lunki with a säkert t-shirtYou might have heard of it; it’s as Swedish as IKEA and ABBA; the rotten fish we Swedes call Surströmming.

It’s oftentimes called a delicacy; and the Swedish people are divided in two groups; the lovers and the haters. I personally think most of the haters never even tried it since they are scared away from the smell of it.

And yes, the smell of it is dreadful. Imagine the worst odor you can; then mutiply that by ten and you might get close. I hear a lot of lovers also love the smell but only when they are about to eat it. Nobody loves the smell the next day when the Surströmmings-party is all over.

Lately the Surströmming has been in trouble. It contains a higher dose of dioxin than permitted by the European Union. But it seems the Swedish Government are part of the love group; so apparently the rotten fish will receive a state of execution and continue to be on the store shelves for the time being.

Back in school it was used as the perfect prank. You opened up a can of it and hid it in the ventilation system. Hilarious! And to all you kids out there, you have my blessing. Make me proud!

Here’s the Surströmming clip from the excellent and quite interesting quiz show “QI” with Stephen Fry and Alan Davies. The segment starts 10:05 in. Enjoy.

the animated comedy series and blog lunki and sika
More What is Sweden? from Lunki and Sika
What is Sweden: A Socialist Country?
What is Sweden: The Proudness of the Swedes
What is Sweden: Vampires and girls with Dragon Tattoos
What is Sweden: The Final Countdown
What is Sweden: Noomi Rapace
What is Sweden: Movitz!


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