Surströmming Isn’t That Bad!

Having seen all of the surströmming challenge videos (including my favourite that features a dog that can’t handle the smell:, I wanted to try out this legendary Swedish dish for myself!

Now, I didn’t want to do one of those over-the-top reaction videos. You know, flailing and screaming and carrying on. I’ve smelled plenty of nasty things in my life, and never have I had a reaction like some folks online!

And when I opened the can, I really couldn’t see what the big deal was. Yes, it was pungent, and really strong. Yes, I’m glad I opened it underwater. But really, was it that bad? No, it wasn’t!

As for the taste, it was more salty than smelly. In fact, it was more salty than anything else! Really, I can’t see eating this as much more than an appetizer, or small snack. A full meal of this would be like drinking seawater!

If you’ve got questions about surströmming, let me know! I’m not suddenly an expert on fermented herring, but I’m happy to answer questions about my own experiences.

The can I got was Kallax Surströmming, manufactured by BD Fisk, is one of Norrbotten’s oldest companies. Formed out at the Gulf of Bothnia in 1928 when fishermen created a fish sales association to be able to sell their products over a larger geographical area. Surströmming that is not filleted have a chance of containing roe, and that is considered a delicacy among many connoisseurs.

Oh, and if you’re looking to get some for yourself, check out They ship to Canada!

UPDATE: This is the official response to the video from the Swedish Surstromming Supplier company: Hi, many thanks for your review. Sorry for that the fish was a little dissolved. That can happen during the summer when it’s really hot or if the can have been stored in room temperature after arrival. The fish usually can withstand a few weeks in room temperature without any problem. Anyway, you seem to know a few tricks about surströmming =) You really should try it like this: and with a cold beer. It would be awesome with an updated video when you are trying it out that way and to hear what you think about that version! =) Thanks for linking to our website as well!

I’m disappointed to learn that I had, essentially, a less-than-ideal product. Should I try this again?

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