A Conversation for Lutefisk
Researcher 178112 Started conversation May 24, 2001
While the Nowegians have lutefisk and the Icelandic do something with unpleasant with ammonia, the Swedes also have a stinky tradition. Surstromming, which translates literally as sour herrings is a dish made by preserving herrings in an inadequate ammount of salt. An account by Alan Davidson in North Atlantic Seafood describes how this dish was invented:
Some Swedish fishemen were enjoying such a successfull catch on the baltic that they ran out of the salt that they used to preserve the fish as they caught it. Instead of throwing the excess fish away, they packed it in approximately half the usual ammount of salt. By the time they arrived back in port these barrels had started to go off. As it happened, some Finns had come down from the woodlands to market and the unscupulous fishermen decided that they would be gullible enough to buy the fermenting barrels of fish, and anyway, they would be unlikely to see them again. To cut a long story short, the next season they ensured that they had a plentiful supply of salt and went off fishing. When they came back though, to their astonishment those same Finns were at the quayside demanding the same as last year. And so a tradition was born.
The account also gives an eyewitnes account of two hundred barrels of surstromming being opened for canning. Seagulls dropped dead from the sky on account of the stench, and soon the harbour was thronging with boats whos crew had been attracted by the smell and were scrambling for a taste of the delicacy.
This dish is ALLWAYS served out of doors on account of the awfull smell.
Of course, the customary accompaniment is copious ammounts of aquavit.
Peaceful Dragon (napping) Posted Feb 9, 2002
The first time I smelled surströmming I thought somebody next door was sick with a very bad stomach flu...
My Swedish fiancee kept a tin of it in the fridge (just to show off, I think) for ages and ages and after a while the thing started to SWELL! By the time I finally decided I didn't want to have my house blown up after all (thinking of the stink) the bl****d thing was round as a football (the soccer kind)!!!
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