Jamie Drummond samples Surströmming for the first time at Stockholm institution Sturehof

Jamie Drummond samples Surströmming for the first time at Stockholm institution Sturehof… whoah that’s ripe.


To remark that the infamous Swedish delicacy of Surströmming was pungent would be putting it rather mildly. Even up against such other fermented fish heavyweights such as Korean Hongeohoe or Japanese Kusaya, Swedish fermented Baltic herring has been found to be the world’s most putrid smelling of foodstuffs.

Now due to my sensitive palate I’m not usually one to go in for for any kind of exxxtreme eating, but after a quick youtube search for the stuff I have to say that I was intrigued why anyone would ever think of consuming something that could cause just violent physiological rejections from one’s body and yet at the same time be adored by so many others. Not ever being one to do things by halves, I decided to take a trip to Stockholm, Sweden to discover what all of this Surströmming was all about…

Aided and abetted by our amiable host Martin Bundock, a gentleman who genuinely appears to know everyone in Stockholm on a first name basis, we found ourselves invited to an exclusive celebration of of the stinky stuff at the city’s historied temple of gastronomy, Sturehof.

Dating back to its origins as a beer hall in 1897, Sturehof is an essential port of call for any foodster who finds oneself in this great city. As well as being world famous for their exemplary seafood menus, Sturehof also host an annual Surströmming party on the third Thursday of August, and it was at this extremely exclusive event I was to experience Surströmming in all its stinking glory for the very first time, and naturally I brought along my trusty video camera to share each delectable mouthful with our readers…

Having had such an eye-and-palate-opening time at Sturehof I decided to bring back some Surströmming to share with my friends in Toronto. Seeing as cans of the stuff are actually banned on a number of airlines around the world due to their fetid explosive properties, this was no easy task. But on Thursday the 15th of August Good Food Revolution and Café Taste Events will be hosting Toronto’s inaugural Stinkfest from 4pm to 8pm on the patio at Midfield Wine Bar and Tavern (Dundas/Gladstone).

Due to the limited Surströmming available this will be a strictly invite-only industry event. There will be a small donation at the door with all monies going to our wonderful friends at The Stop Community Food Centre. Please email me if you would be interested in attending:

torontostinkfest@gmail.com This piece is the first in an occasional series of long-form documentaries from Good Food Revolution.


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Toronto Stinkfest 2013

7oh5YyB7P0oBUxn26uHhBEv8V9LGkTmR5QbpU3g6sjIEdinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And he wonders if any of you spotted the fantastic moustache on that fellow!