This is the only story I felt was worth reading today on CNN. It was far more interesting than tennis injuries and political fighting. More of this please, CNN.
It’s the time of year again when some Swedes eat rotten fish. Yes, rotten.
It’s called Surströmming. It’s fish in a can that has been allowed to ferment at least 6 months. It has been described as “of the most putrid food smells in the world”. You are not allowed to eat it inside your apartment building. It must be eaten outside because of the awful smell. Then people try to cover it up with bread and potatoes and drink schnapps to get rid of the horrible taste.
This has gone on since the 1600s when this was provided as army rations during the 30 years war. If you gave those soldiers from the 1600s the choice of their canned rotted fish or a decent burger, I don’t think they would ever touch fish again. I fail to see why this is a “tradition.”
I try my best to fit in my new culture, but this is the main place where I have to draw the line. It’s not happening. Rotted fish was not on the immigration form. I’ll eat your salmon, your meatballs and your cloudberries, but surströmming will never happen.
One of the most disturbing things we saw on our vacation was this pile of catfish climbing over each other in the bay. These fish aren’t in a tank or a feeding farm. They have the entire bay that opens out into the Gulf of Mexico to swim around in, yet they choose to group together under a dock that has a feeding machine for kids to feed seagulls or fish. (The feeding machine is actually a gumball machine filled with fish food…. I’m sure younger kids have mistaken this for a tasty snack many times.)
This reminds me of Christmas time when they release a new toy at the mall.
It’s funny to me, as a Texan, that Swedish children eat caviar in squeeze tubes. Caviar was always an expensive delicacy when I was growing up, but over here it’s quite common for a breakfast snack on toast.
Of course, it’s mainly adults that eat the pure caviar. The children like to squeeze it out of tubes mixed with cheese (horrible, I know).
Our children begged for this on their toast the last time my husband took them to the grocery store. What he forgot to do was to ask them if they had any idea what caviar is.
They did not.
So now the staff fridge at my workplace will be getting a fresh tube of caviar and cheese so everyone can put it on their toast in the morning.
Lesson – Half Texan kids and caviar don’t mix.