Is this the smelliest food in the world? • Earth.com

Is this the smelliest food in the world?

06-28-2018


Is this the smelliest food in the world? Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series explains how Surströmming, also known as the smelliest food in the world, has become a national treasure in Sweden.

Swedish for “sour herring,” Surströmming dates back an estimated 9,000 years. By the 1500s, the fish became a staple in Sweden when the country was at war and salt was hard to come by. Salt was important at this time for preserving food, and there was enough salt in Surströmming to prevent the fish from spoiling.

As the fish ferment in their own bacteria, they produce potent, smelly acids. The gases produced as byproducts in this food preservation process become so strong that they actually swell the can. The Baltic herring, known as strömming in Swedish, is smaller than the Atlantic herring, found in the North Sea.

Karin Olofsdotter is the Swedish ambassador to the United States. She said that Surströmming is an acquired taste and, though she does not like it that much, it is a fun thing to do to be part of an old tradition. Where to buy surströmming. The Swedish Surströmming Supplier is one of the few places where you can buy surströmming outside of Sweden. Surströmming has been banned on most commercial airline flights so a souvenir can is kind of out of the question. If you do get a tin, keep in mind that it should be stored in the refrigerator until opened.


By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Video Credit: American Chemical Society

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