Archive for June 24th, 2010

At least lutefisk is usually eaten indoors

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

This news story makes that Scandinavian masochism known as lutefisk – which my dad loved so much and which made me gag – seem pretty innocuous:

Sweden battles EU food-safety rules to save a smelly Baltic-herring delicacy

Sweden is fighting European Union food-safety rules in a battle to save one of its traditional delicacies, a smelly dish made from fermented Baltic herrings. Eskil Erlandsson, the Swedish Agriculture Minister, has pleaded with John Dalli, the EU’s consumer and health protection commissioner, to save surstromming, a delicacy from northern Sweden so smelly it has to be eaten outside. Surstromming is produced under a special exemption for Sweden and Finland from EU rules on the sale of fatty fish from the Baltic Sea, which have dioxin pollution levels considered too high for consumer safety. Next year, the loophole will close and the EU will ban production or sale. Commission officials said Mr. Dalli had declined the gift of can of the herring after Swedish colleagues warned him its pungent odour was an acquired taste, even for Swedes. The smell is so intense, it is usually eaten outside.