Stinky Fish Party!

Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
1
6
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Sweden  , Uppsala,
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thomas and Elaine Rindfuss had a request from one of their friends, Chris, another American, to try this classic traditional Swedish food of Surströmming. Victor and I were invited to attend, and we gathered together with several others at the Rindfuss's home to try out this classic.

This is a food that is most commonly eaten with potatoes, sour cream, onions and fresh dill is more famous because of its distinctive smell. It is a common fact that this can is not to be opened unless it is under water or under water running from a tap. This helps dilute the extremely pungent small that permeates any space that surrounds the can of fermenting fish. The can is full of fish that have had their heads sliced off, that have been marinating in a preservative.

Thomas had the smart idea to open our can outside. However, we did not close the door so those who were not brave enough to watch the can being opened up close could still smell the lovely odor inside. The bowl of water that Thomas was submerging the fish in turned opaque within a matter of seconds and the smell grew in intensity.

The fish were pulled out of the can, (after we let them sit for a few minutes,) one by and Thomas, since he already smelled, obliged to cut the fish up and slice out the fillets of the fish. Those of us who were brave enough to try a piece made up our bread/ crackers and the toppings mentions above and took turns eating our bits of fish. The toppings vastly outnumbered the amount of fish in our dinner, but that one bite that I had really was strong. It did not taste nearly as bad as it smelled, but the taste was distinct and strong. It has a foul sort of taste, but did not taste unlike other types of fish. I swallowed pretty quickly and then washed it town, but there still was a bit of an after taste that I tried to cover up with eating more crackers that were fish free this time.

It was a very pleasant night, sitting there and swapping stories about life and just enjoying each other’s company. The smell of the fish faded in the room as the sun set outside, but whenever the door was opened a fresh whiff would waft through the room and get a round of complaints, before the door was shut again.

I suggested the idea that using these cans would be an effective chemical warfare. I mean if someone opened a few of these cans and put them in the United Nations and then locked the doors, we would have world peace really fast. Same goes with congress, I bet we could get a balanced budget passed if we opened up a few of these cans in the house of congress. This would also be fantastic revenge against an ex-boyfriend. Open up a few cans while they are away for the weekend, he’ll never forget you then. Plus, these fish are non-lethal, so they are not illegal, and you can always argue that this is your lunch, so you would be off the hook.

Thomas got the task of cleaning up the fish outside. He already smelled so it was better that he did it. He had to constantly wash it his hands and spray himself with cologne. All of the trash was taken directly to the trash and Elaine considered having Thomas sleep outside.

Despite the smell, the night was a great experience, and it was definitely a night to remember. I had heard about this fish as one of the delicacies of Sweden and had always wanted to try. When I got the invitation from Thomas and Elaine I accepted immediately knowing that I would never want to open one of these cans on my own.
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