Best Eaten Outdoors
This is the stuff with the "best eaten outdoors" warning on the label, right?
Swedish police are probing a malodorous fermented flying fish incident in which an open can of local delicacy surströmming was launched through the bedroom window of a 52-year-old Motala man. Sweden's The Local describes the result as "breakfast in bed with a cruel and unusual twist", and according to our correspondent Mike …
Yep, it's pretty hard core stuff I have been told (but never had the pleasure to actually sample this delicacy). For instance, when one is opening a surströmming can, it should be done under water (in a kitchen sink filled with water, for example) because of the possibility (probability?) of an explosion occuring. If it explodes in free air, your place will reek of 'strömming for months, even years.
Had a swedish colleague some years ago. He explained and then demonstrated to me the finest points of eating surströmming.
First you keep the freshly made can for half a year minimum. It's "good for consuption" only when the can starts to have bulges showing an increase of internal pressure. When the bulges stop increasing, it's good, which takes you to a year, year and a half old can.
Then you make a rye bread sandwich with butter, potatoes, onions and surströmming, potatoes and onions balancing the strong fish taste.
The "older" way is much simpler : get the fish on a plate, put onions and potatoes if you have them, dip with bread and eat along with firebrannwien ("spiced" vodka).
No herbs or color admitted, it should be grayish with a white counterpoint.
As long as you dislike the taste of surströmming, you keep on drinking and eating.
When you start thinking around the lines of "surströmming is not so bad", you have reached an optimum drunkeness point and you should avoid both surströmming and vodka until you get down a bit and enjoy the bliss (also, at this point most women will become more attractive to you... ).
If you suddenly like surströmming a lot, you are definetly pissed and should also refrain as you reached a dangerous point with a near future full of rotten fish and ugly girls (this is a direct quote of my friend).
No warning label provided or needed.
However, the open under water tip is useful to reduce some of the aromatic vapour in the air in the presence of novices. No risk of an explosion.
It's eaten seasonally at the end of the summer, and it's a northern delight, with an epicentre on the coast near Umeå. Eaten with tasty small potatoes, crispbread and onions, accompanied by milk and/or akvavit.
A sour streaming party is a very cheerful event, and worth it for the story alone, although the reward for the connaissour is probably only comparable to truffles.
(Hope I spelled that correctly). The Scandinavians sure know how to boggle the mind with fish. (Lutefisk is fish marinaded in lime (the drain cleaner Americans call lye, not the citrus fruit), by the way). I genuinely regret not having had the chance to try the stuff when I was in Oslo recently. I'm actually a vegetarian, but I'd have made an exception for something so bizarre.
Lutefisk is the soggy fish you can eat with a straw; rather tasteless really. I think it is -the- most boring 'delicacy'.
You ought to try rakfisk (fermented (read: rotten) trout) and gravlaks (fermented (again read: rotten salmon) as well. We norse sure know how to enjoy our fish, eh? ;)
Now excuse me for a minute... *runs to great white phone*
Or, you can try the ultimate one:
Icelandic sour shark. http://www.isholf.is/gullis/jo/shark.htm
Best consumed with lots of Brannivin. The brand of this is "Svartadaudir" (Black death).
Other funny delicacies is norwegian Smalahovud - Sheeps head. The wool is burnt off and the head is cooked in the oven. It's served whole...
I have a theory that most countries creat an absolutely horrible delicacy that they press on visiting foreigners so they can watch the poor sods trying to eat while not running for the great white phone.
Actually the idea there is to store the excess fish catches of summer in a coating of *ASH* so that the sodium in the fish is replaced by potassium in the ash. That way, the fish will not rot or ferment !! The fish is usually stored buried in the ground. Around the turn of winter, the stored fish is dug up and eaten for the rest of winter and into spring.
This process is also used in production of the Chinese "century eggs" !! However, this process aids in the conversion of sulphur compounds in the food to hydrogen sulphide in your tummy and, thus, making you a very unwelcome company in most places !! You may also be classified as WMD and treated accordingly !!
The surströmming was actually invented by Finns, at the time of Swedish rule.
The Finns had to pay tax to the Crown. One part of it was fish. When it was time to deliver they chose the containers that had gone bad (otherwise they'd have to eat it themselves).
And for some peculiar reason Swedes chose this as a delicacy. Beats me!
That's easy. The Swedes eat that fish, then go to the nearest inn/bar full of drunk Finns. Once nature takes its course, the Swede is guaranteed to have most of the place to himself !! Now he can have a nice quiet drink with a side order of fermented blubber !!
WMD provided by the opposition !! What could be better ??