Swedish Police Shutdown Downtown Area Only To Uncover Scourge of Surströmming

For years I have tried to raise international awareness of the menace of Surströmming, fermented herring. Now, Swedish police has faced the reality of Surströmming terror. The police closed off a whole street after hearing reports of a gas leak only to find a stash of fermented herring.

An army of police, fire trucks and an “emergency gas leak team” descended upon the on the Södermalm building only to find Swedish surströmmingsskiva, their name for Surströmming.

It is described as as a “decidedly non-piquant shark odor . . . resembling “a well fermented urinal on a hot summer’s day.” People first smell it and then, in a rejection of decades of rational actor theory, eat it.

This would make for an interesting nuisance lawsuit when the very smell of your food is making people ill. It certainly diminishes the use and enjoyment of one’s property though the manufacturer could claim that the food is a national tradition and touchstone of Swedish culture. The question is whether the manufacturer should have to use a closed manufacturing system to contain the Surströmming. For private makers of Surströmming, the creation of this dish may be best left to factories in remote locations like the top of Kebnekaise mountain.

As a general rule, I find foods that pass for major gas leaks to be best left on the “do not eat list.” It also explains the failure of those fastfood “Surströmming Shacks” that tried to open around the country.

Source: Register

52 thoughts on “Swedish Police Shutdown Downtown Area Only To Uncover Scourge of Surströmming”

  1. Lottakatz, I am also into food… I LOVE baking…. and cooking…
    I get cravings for foods all the time…. then I have to make that food….
    a while back, it was bread…. I failed at bread making…. that is my ONLY failure to date….
    lately, I’ve been too sick to cook…. It is driving me crazy…. 🙁

  2. justagurlinseattle: “what can you say about a country that takes FISH…. cures it in LYE…. then has to BURY it for a freaking YEAR!!!!!”

    That they live in a very harsh environment and historically had to use extreme food conservation methods to live through the winter.

    Not being harsh Justagurl, I was thinking that all through this thread and your question was the best hook. 🙂

    I see that in the food my peasant grandparents brought to America with them and in the root cellars, herbal remedies, foraging habits and salted meats my subsistence farmer grandparents had.

    I like food and read a lot of old cookbooks and watch a lot of period documentaries (mostly British of late) where food, and getting enough of it and through the winter is hard work and ‘iffy’. Peasant food is ubiquitous because that’s who most people were and how most people lived.

    Our refrigerators and modern trade in food is astonishing – a pinnacle of our progress. I eat fresh grapes from Peru at Christmas have fresh fruit and vegetables year round. Just complete proteins in a cut to order, pre-packaged meats and fish array in a straight line of counters (just the ‘fresh’, not even counting frozen) 70 feet long. !!!!!! (Not making any claims about how we raise and manufacture/modify it, just saying its there.) I wonder what would happen if all that disappeared overnight?

    Some of that ‘old’ food is retained as comfort food, touch-stones and I have great respect for that food. But I wouldn’t touch some of if you paid me. 🙂

    Canolli! OMG, I have to drive into the city (the Hill) for the good stuff and I’m overdue, I was thinking about making a run about 10 days ago. Two pings for canolli in less than two weeks must be an omen, I really need to do a canolli run. 🙂

    1. Ohhhhhhh what I would GIVE for CANOLI…..

      here they have to make them to suit Swedish taste….
      so they are filled with some lemon crap… or chocolate….
      Ohhhh god… don’t get me started…. 🙂

      what you said makes sense… I have NOT thought about it like that before…

      I guess it makes sense now….

      and yeah… I was just thinking about all of the food shortages lately….
      I saw a HORRIBLE video by Paul McCartney about slaughter houses…

      It got me thinking about green farming and cattle raising…. and just how possible it really is, with the population growth and all…..

      It would be terrible if all of a sudden, we had no access to the foods we are used to…..

      and here, I was just mocking that Survivalist Show…. 😀

  3. My take is this….. now mind you…. I HATE the food here in Sweden… it is my BIGGEST complaint…..

    what can you say about a country that takes FISH…. cures it in LYE…. then has to BURY it for a freaking YEAR!!!!!

  4. this is why when people are discussing where to eat nobody ever says “lets have scandinavian tonight”.

    also you can’t take Surströmming on aircraft because the cans may explode.

  5. Woosty,

    Have checked it out. Danish with Jarl Kulle as General. Hope I can read the subtitles as understanding Danish is beyond me. And what did Babette speak other than French. Shall see.

    Thanks for the link to the whole film.

  6. Matt,

    Seemed to be a good site. Very good Hendrix “Experienced”. Know what I will do tomorrow.

    I was there in H/A after the beatniks and before the hippies. Immigrants from the east looking to recreate an era.

    The story of my life. Mostly personal drama. Shared a few highlights with y’all. List another time.
    You know them all well anyway.

    Bet nobody was in the West Bank one month before the June ’66 war. We CIA guys were setting out radio beacons for guidance of Israeli planes.

    The last sentence is a lie. Smile.

  7. Woosty,

    Your compliment must be do to my spelling your name correctly. LOL.

    Hugely flattered or you are pulling my leg without my knowing it. Like all fools I do not recognize the latter.

    Yes, I will watch it. Well stocked with delicacies. Unpasteurized french cheeses from a frenchman, exclusive ham from spanish black feet pigs fed only with acorns from my Spaniard from the town with the oldest university in Europe. etc. Some exclusive goose liver demi from Pierre, who married a Swedish lady and runs a small french grocery. And some italian cookies with almonds to dip in sweet Sauterne
    in the fridge now.

    Afterwards I will reflect on the mussels buffet offered by a french realtor who paid our trip to look at their offerings. including a night in Paris near Champs Ulices, as we americans spell and pronounce it.

    It was charmingly offered in a stranded boat wreck which served also as a casino. Les vrais attraction de cotes des mediterranée. Voilá and all that.

    My french girl friend whom Í met in Thailand, Yvette Chaumeau, and who returned to Europe was once employed by a French aristocrat family. Quelle savoir faire! Incroyable. etc etc. How she knew they were, I never asked.

    Arw you salivating? I did not ring the bell yet!

    I got turned on by Babette. Mmmm!

    My first Swedish love did wonderful creme pancakes full of whipped cream. I was too bony she complained.

  8. Matt, have you actually been to Haight? I was there once quite a while ago….it was pretty sad when I was there, looks like it hasn’t changed much….

  9. Nick,

    I stand reddening with tomato sauce on my head. I thought it was funny you would ´make a mistake spelling italian food dishes.

    I never look at dessert menus. Decided that an extra glass of wine was better than italian desserts. All finger cakes covered in sweet wine and ricotta to the contrary.

    But cannoli sounds comforting. Never was much of a fruit man, so that’s out. Although if hungry will take a pear and some good cheese.

    I must come over and eat at the places you name.
    Are they still good now? Owners change, etc.

    Chain food? Never, other than an emergency MacD visit. Is NYC still the haven of free enterprise small “subway” shops? Or all chain now? 50 years makes a big difference.

    The hotel I lived in for 6 weeks in ’59 is gone. Stood next to the Taft, which may be gone too. Real estate prices go up, and buildings do higher too.

  10. Matt Johnson 1, September 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    idealist707 1, September 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm


    The best canneloni I ever ate was in Napa Valley.
    Came back for supper, and ate it again. Not as good the second version (stuffing and sauce). But I make mistakes like that.

    Go to a pizza parlor here.

  11. idealist707 1, September 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm


    The best canneloni I ever ate was in Napa Valley.
    Came back for supper, and ate it again. Not as good the second version (stuffing and sauce). But I make mistakes like that.
    Add the salad ,the bread, and the beer.

  12. ID, Cannelloni is a pasta as you know. Cannoli is it’s dessert cousin. Both stuffed w/ ricotta but the cannoli is a pastry shell instead of pasta and the ricotta flavored w/ chocolate, candied fruit, etc.

  13. Wootsy, I learned to always bring a quart of beer in a paper sack waiting on line @ Regina. Here’s something I’ve learned about pizza, Wootsy. I’ve lived in 7 different states in 3 time zones. For virtually everyone the “best” pizza is whatever they grew up eating. Sadly, now it’s a good chance they grew up eating corporate chain pizza. However, I’ve taken a couple close minded midwestern pizza folks to Regina and Wooster St. in New Haven[Frank Pepe and Sally’s] and they “got their minds right” after that. Hell..some people think El Paso is where you eat Italian..to each their own.

  14. Woosty,

    The best canneloni I ever ate was in Napa Valley.
    Came back for supper, and ate it again. Not as good the second version (stuffing and sauce). But I make mistakes like that.

    Never understood the 5 course principal until years later. A few Italian cookbooks helped.

    Thank goodness my warmed up stew is good. I would be drooling otherwise.

    Carpaccio was the word I was looking for above.

    Carpaccio using raw fish meat!!!! Sashimi italian style with olive oil, not soy sauce.

    Only freshly shelled oysters are more sea-tasty.

  15. You guys are killing me with italian food and North End. I’m dying. Not a connisseur, can’t even spell it. But I try. One fun experience was visit to the open air fish market in Venice. Micro shrimps so fresh they were still hopping. Finding a good restaurant was difficult. Most of it was bought by private persons I suspect.

    Ate at top place that evening across from it over a mini-canal bridge. Started mine with a fish version of thin sliced fish with octupus ink sauce. You know of course of the tenderloin version, whose name slips my mine for now.

    My wife, smart woman but dumb Swede, took the deep-fried mixed seafood. I had made the same mistake on th pier at (jeez the brain is giving up)…..the city north of Clint’s Carmel, where Cannary Row is placed
    by John Steinbeck. Monterey!!!

    Anyway, don’t look for genuine anything in Swedish restaurants. Definitely not Italian.
    Swedes love cream sauces and the cooks oblige. Can’t even imaging eating anything north of Turin, and that is a borderline case—although the wine is good there in the valleys. Expensive at times.

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