Unlike its nastier fermented cousin, surströmming, smoked (or rökt) strömming – a type of herring – is quite yummy.
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This time around, I decided to skip out on Sweden’s stinky tradition – fermented herring (surströmming) – even though I’ve tried it three times before. As for my husband, he always digs in like it’s the sweetest thing ever invented.
I couldn’t get over the flies (some disoriented by the smell themselves) that swarmed around us the first time Pehr cracked open a bulging can of bubbling surströmming (fermented herring) in front of me.
He then took a piece of raw herring, pulled out its swollen pink innards, and spread bits of fish over buttered, crispy thin bread (tunnbröd), finally layering it with slices of almond potatoes, chopped onions, and fresh dill sprigs.
I’ve tried surstromming thrice – each time taking no more than two bites. I estimate in about five years, I would have finally worked my way around a single tunnbröd loaded with stinky fish (pictured above).