5 unusual European delicacies | Culture | Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 29.05.2018

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5 unusual European delicacies

Some dishes demand a lot of experimentation — and courage — from culinary enthusiasts. The Swedish delicacy Surströmming, a kind of rotten fish, heads the list.

Nobody really knows how the Swedes thought up this dish. The Scandinavian country has more than 3,000 kilometers of coastline, and yet one of its national dishes isn't fresh but rotten fish. Surströmming is as legendary as it is odor-intensive. But even that doesn't come close to describing the experience of opening a can under your nose.

Surströmming's foul, stomach-churning aroma is achieved by leaving herring that is caught in the spring to rot over the summer in brine. The resulting amino acids preserve the fish yet create such a fetid smell that it becomes a challenge to eat for most.

The Swedes see it differently, where eating Surströmming is a proud tradition. The fish comes on sale on the third Thursday in August, a date that was once set to regulate the amount of "delicious" fermented fish consumed. Surströmming is commonly eaten with onions, potatoes and sour cream.

But not only the Swedes have daring delicacies on the menu. You can can find similarly exotic — and putrid — dishes across Europe, as our High Five gallery reveals.


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