Island of Källö-Knippla in the archipelago of Gothenburg, Sweden
© Martin Wahlborg/Getty Image
Home of the worst-smelling food?. Surströmming Day
Hold your nose, it’s Surströmming Day! In Sweden, they’ll be cracking open this year’s surströmming harvest to enjoy its putrid wonder. Surströmming is Baltic herring that’s been caught in April and May, then lightly salted and allowed to ferment. In the 1940s, a royal ordinance forbade selling it before the third Thursday in August to make sure it was properly fermented. The ordinance is no longer on the books, but the tradition holds.
Swedes indulge in pickled herring from bloated cans that most insist should be opened outside and preferably underwater. That’s the recommended way to alleviate the stench from what some call ‘the world’s worst smelling food’. Despite that, it is said to taste great, if you get that far. Surströmming has sparked various ‘stinky fish challenge’ internet videos of people trying to brave the experience, and failing miserably.
In today’s homepage photo we are in a small fishing village is on the island of Källö-Knippla in the Swedish city of Gothenburg’s northern archipelago. Today they might be indulging in some surströmming on top of tunnbröd flatbread. It’s common to then cover it in red onions, sour cream, and dill and then wash it all down with a shot of booze, a beer or even milk. The taste is said to be very sharp, savoury and even acidic. That is, if you can keep it down.