We Visited Surströmming Factory To Try The Worst-Smelling Food In The World

by : Saman Javed on : 05 Dec 2020 16:22
We Visited Surströmming Factory To Try The Worst-Smelling Food In The WorldUNILAD Adventure

Most people have eaten some form of smelly food in their lifetimes. Sometimes it’s a canned fish, or some kind of pickle. In one remote town in Sweden, it’s a combination of both.

As part of UNILAD Adventure’s Bucket List we sought out the worst-smelling food in the world, and then as you do, we ate it.


In their recent trip to Sweden, Jez and Tom visited the Oskars factory in the small town of Mällby to try Surströmming for themselves.

Surströmming is a fermented, baltic herring which has been sttred over 6 months in a mixture of salt, brine and lactic acid. In other words, it’s a rotten fish that is safe to eat, and it has been voted the worst-smelling food in the world.

Watch Tom eat it here:


According to Fredrick, who works at the factory, the food dates back to hundreds of years ago, and was eaten a time when there wasn’t much else to eat.

As the pescatarian of the pair, it fell on Tom to try the herring, but it took a while to get past the smell first.

‘It smells like someone has eaten diarrhea and thrown it up, and then canned it,’ he says, while retching every 10 seconds.

‘It just smells like sh*t, that’s the only way to describe it. I’m trying to be respectful; you know it’s a delicacy in Sweden … but every fibre of my being is saying don’t eat that food,’ he says.

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Right before the taste test, a Swedish local — dubbed Swedish Gandalf — also turned up to offer them some words of advice along the lines of: ‘Don’t eat the whole fish because there might be semen inside it’.

If you want to see how the taste test went, check out the video above.

As for Tom’s verdict: ‘I’m glad I tried it. Would I eat it again? Probably not.’


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Topics: Food, fish, Sweden


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  1. Unilad Adventure

    Surströmming is known across the globe as the smelliest food to exist, we took a visit to the factory where it all began... (We even got a free sample 😷)