"Att äta surströmming gör mig törstig."

Translation:Eating fermented herring makes me thirsty.

January 16, 2015

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    Har ofta äter människor surströmming i Sverige? Inte ofta, jag hoppas


    In Norrbotten (North Sweden) they eat it once a year, they gather to enjoy all together of such a delightful delicatessen from Gods. They generally mix it with all kind of breads, potatoes and whatever to hide the taste of this appreciated fish. The wiser eat a lot before the event and then get away by saying that they are already full and so on... (classic strategy) I have tried it once ( the bare fish ). Certainly it was an appalling, abhorrent horrible experience but it was quite funny. I recommend all you to give it a try ;)


    I also took a tiny bite from one straight out of the can...funny indeed. Gagged like crazy, tasted it throughout the day and felt completely sick. Fantastic experience! Seriously.


    If you eat an anchovy straight from the can you'll probably also taste anchovy all day in an unpleasant way. These sorts of things are generally eaten in combination with something comparatively bland to dilute the flavour, much like eating blue cheese with crackers.
    This is not to 'hide' the taste, but simply to provide parameters within which the taste can be appreciated. This is also true with fermented herring: if you eat it straight out of the can all by itself it will be absolutely disgusting. I like anchovies, but I'd never eat an anchovy out of the can either (unless, of course, I had a gun pointed at my head and it was either that or a surströmming).


    It's not as delicious as lutefisk.


    I've tried it once. I don't plan on doing it again.


    Normally never if you don't live in the north of Sweden :).


    Is it really so... u-hm.... specific as it has the reputation to be? :)


    Imagine that you eat a rotten fish in a public toilet with many worn sock all around the place :D I tried it once. Words cannot describe the smell :)


    This description is quite apt. It's terrible. But it's also hilarious to see people try to eat it.


    Yes, but how did it taste?


    It tastes like a regular herring but a little bit more bitter. I did not try it on it's own, it was wrapped in tortilla with almond potato, onions, creme fraiche and something else I cannot remember now. It is more about the smell and not the taste.


    Hopefully there are some people from the north who can explain it to you. I guess that eating outdoors makes it more bearable :).


    I've seen it in a Hemskop in Lund, so someone in Skåne must eat it :)


    That should of course be Hemköp, but i cant edit on the mobile version


    Perhaps if one sticks one's tongue out for a while first to freeze the taste buds ...


    I think the 'once in a lifetime' is very common :D
    Edit: at least in the southern half.


    Where I lived there's a kind of surstromming holiday once a year. It's good if you have a small piece, but generally there's a big feast with all kinds of other food as well. It does help to eat it outside, and definitely, no matter what, open the can outside!


    This type of discussion is what is great about Duolingo - what we need to reduce are the discussions about semi relevant grammar points that have already been covered dozens of times on previous threads. Keep up the good work.


    Or have links to those available threads without having to ask the questions, eh?


    There's a sticky post under Swedish Discussions which collects links to some of the most important discussions. Direct link to it here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/5892805


    Oh, you wen't there. You told the learners about surströmming. I do want to try it eventually, but I don't live near Sweden and my Swedish friend says it's banned on planes because it can blow up.


    It's true – or if it isn't, it should be: the cans can explode. There won't be a big explosion or anything but the smelly stuff will get out and could probably ruin the whole cargo. I wouldn't want my luggage to travel together with surströmming cans.


    There was this news story from Sweden that they found an inflated can of it under the roof of a cabin, it lifted the roof and they called an expert to find out if it's safe to remove. The expert said he'd try it if it didn't decompose completely by then.


    I'm sure he said that in a Northern Swedish accent :D


    Before I married my husband, I was over in Sweden visiting him in Närke. He took me up north (a 900 km drive) to meet his relatives. When we arrived at his aunt's house in the countryside I was aware of a pungent stench when we got out the car. I said to him: What the heck is that smell? He said "It's lunch"......!!!!! After that he explained that it it doesn't taste as bad as it smells. It has to be opened outside the house (as far away as possible) to let the gases and smell out. His aunt is hugely skilled at doing this. She doesn't even mind the smell - especially when it's the surströmming premier. My husband was right about the taste not being like the smell. I am almost addicted to it nowadays. I get cravings for the premier. My mother (Scottish), who loves fried or grilled herring, was disappointed when she visited Sweden because a lot of the herring is served cold and raw (a lot of it pickled tho' like rollmop yum yum). I wouldn't even dream of letting her taste surströmming. The shock would be too much for her :)


    Bans can go further than that, in my student flat it was in the contract that we were forbidden from opening cans of surströmming on the premises!

    Apparently they'd had a lot of international students do that in the past and they really struggled to get rid of the smell.


    It's true! I opened at a can at my friends place and it got into every piece of fabric in every room. The smell would go away until you left and came back.

    I look forward to having it again though!


    That's funny; eating surströmming makes me sick.


    Vad smakar värre, surströmming eller lutefisk? Jag vill veta.


    Why don't you find out and tell us? :)))))))))))))


    I just got through eating four surströmming fish and some roe. It was tasty. Not something I would want to eat often, but I enjoyed it.

    The smell, especially when opening the can, is pretty powerful, even outdoors. It's not the worst smell I've ever smelt, but it is no perfume. I'm staying with a friend in Sweden, and her boyfriend regularly eats it, so I had a guide on doing it right. She, unfortunately, is extremely sensitive to the smell, and so we've temporarily abandoned the house with the windows open. I feel badly for her. I wonder if there is a genetic bases to how offensive the smell is to people.


    All is lost. Even the mighty Canadians have fallen.


    Alright, so we're at McDonald's so my friend can eat something. She said being in the car with us was horrible. Now that we're inside I can smell in on my clothes. I never got any juices on me, so I guess the smell permiates. I guess I'll be hanging them outside tonight!


    Speaking of experience: lutefisk (in Finnish: lipeäkala) is for some weird reason a part of the traditional Christmas dinner in especially Southern parts of Finland, although rapidly disappearing from the tables as the generation who got used to it is passing away. I was exposed for this reason to lutefisk, and the only challenge is the smell during cooking, which is then nothing as compared to surströmming (for those who know their chili peppers: bell peppers as compared to Naga Morich). The lutefisk is boiled to absolute tastelessness and loss of structure, and then served with a generous helping of white gravy, pepper, and salt, which are the only things you actually taste. So, OK experience, and for some a part of tradition, which, however, I'm not continuing in my Christmas dinners.

    Then to the surströmming question: no way for anybody to get used to the reek, and I thought that having a little bit of surströmming would be a good excuse for flushing it down with a glass full of good Swedish schnapps (på svenska: snaps). Not a good idea, no sir. The schnapps did not succeed in camouflaging the taste, while the opposite happened, the surströmming was perfectly successful in hiding any finesse the schnapps would have had. A total waste of a good drink.

    (These experiences have led me to appreciate fresh sushi even more.)


    Lutefisk has a mild taste, much like any nondescript whitefish, it's the smell that's the problem... (>.>)


    I saw this video of Americans trying surstromming for the first time on BuzzFeed, and it seemed to make them sick more than it made them thirsty. :) My cousin said their very first mistake was opening it indoors. :) I'd like to try it just to say I have.


    If it tastes as bad as you are describing, why does it even exist?


    The smell is far worse than the taste.


    As a foreigner, I concur completely.


    Way back when, it was a necessity to preserve fish to get thru the harsh winters. Some people still enjoy it.


    The people who do like it seem to like it a lot.


    The same could be said about coffee. It's an acquired taste.


    'In 1981, a German landlord evicted a tenant without notice after the tenant spread surströmming brine in the apartment building's stairwell (Treppenhaus). When the landlord was taken to court, the court ruled that the termination was justified when the landlord's party demonstrated their case by opening a can inside the courtroom. The court concluded that it "had convinced itself that the disgusting smell of the fish brine far exceeded the degree that fellow-tenants in the building could be expected to tolerate".'

    From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surstr%C3%B6mming#German_eviction


    I'm really looking forward to try surströmming in some weeks! At least it will be an experience. (When I bought "falukorv" last summer, I felt everybody was looking at me...)


    Would 'rotten herring' be accepted here, seeing it is actually rotten?


    No. Rot is for bad or inedible foodstuffs, fermentation for edible ones.

    (And please, no puns about the edibility of surströmming. I don't like it either but it is food in a way many other forms of rotting food wouldn't be.)


    Rot is for bad or inedible foodstuffs, fermentation for edible ones.

    What about noble rot?


    Fermentation and rot are different things. Eating rotten things might kill you, but eating fermented things is quite good for you. Almost all cultures have some type of fermented food.


    Is surtrömming also an accepted translation here? Haven't tried it to use it, but I was just wondering.

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    Well, surströmming is.


    Few days ago i opened surströmming. I threw up just twice.


    Replace thirsty with 'gag' and it's more realistic!


    Surströmming has a small following. My dad liked it men han var föd i sverige. There are scandinavian specialty stores on line where you can find. Inlagd sill is totally different. You can get at IKEA, along with senapsill, gaffelbitar, etc


    Hold on, at ANY Ikea?


    As long as the IKEA has a food store, they should have inlagd sill. On a piece of knäckebröd, yum. I like the senapsill better.


    I was thinking of picking some up at one of my too frequent Ikea trips. Having read this thread I might pass.


    I'm pretty sure this is what is known in England as a "rollmop". The translation "fermented herring" threw me a bit. BTW, rollmops aregreat!


    Nope, surströmming isn't like rollmops at all. It's a traditional northern Swedish specialty, herring which has been fermented for six months or so. It has a very strong smell so it has to be eaten outdoors. Read more in the links:

    Wikipedia in Swedish - https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surstr%C3%B6mming
    Wikipedia in English - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surstr%C3%B6mming

    Rollmops are just pickled, not fermented. Pickled herring is very popular in Sweden, but that's inlagd sill. The difference is very noticeable for anyone with any sense of smell at all.


    Fantastic reply! Thank you so much. Have a lingot! :-D


    Some dudes in Brazil made a video of themselves trying to eat it, and right after they opened the can, a lot of flies showed up where they were (at a square) and they couldn't bear the strong smell (I think the warm weather also made it worse), They tried to eat a little bit of it with bread but it didn't work for them.


    As an Englishman with no sense of taste, I have never heard of surströmming - but it seems I haven't missed much!


    No, you really didn't miss anything! It's just extremely stinky and salty rotten herring. Literally rotten. They call it fermented, though. ;)


    The old Romans used lead in their plumbing and aqueducts, which slowly caused mild cases of lead poisoning in the population. This basically kills off tastebuds, which - according to one popular theory - is the reason for the outrageous food combinations of the time.

    I am reasonably certain they wouldn't eat surströmming despite that.


    What's the purpose of "Att" here?


    English can say "eating ..." or "to eat ..." here, but the former is much more idiomatic. However, Swedish doesn't have a continuous tense, so both correspond to just att äta, and the att serves the same purpose as the "to" in the English "to eat". :)


    Kunde man också säga, "Ätande surströmming gör mig törstig"? If so, which is more idiomatic?


    No, Swedish doesn't really have the gerund in that way. Remember, we don't make a difference between "I eat" and "I'm eating", since we can't say the latter.


    Are pickled herring and fermented herring considered two different things? I was pretty sure that fermentation was a process of pickling. If I put cucumbers in a vinegar brine, they are called pickles. If I put them in a salt brine to lactoferment, they are still called pickles.


    Pickling is a type of fermentation, yes, but it would be wrong to translate them as such. Pickled and fermented herring are very different products.


    why not the translation can't be: "to eating...."


    It's ungrammatical - English either says "eating" or "to eat", but never "to eating".


    Your point, of course, is correct, but after typing this I'm going to get back to eating.


    I think eating is a most essential, pleasant and beneficial activity—I therefore propose a toast: to eating!


    Would you please clarify when to, "ata" and when to "ater". (Sorry, no accents given in discussion mode.)


    äta is the infinitive, and äter is the present tense.


    Is fermented herring not the same as pickled herring?


    What does mean 'ätt äta


    "Att äta" means "to eat", or in this case "eating". The literal translation of this sentence is "To eat fermented herring makes me thirsty", but that sounds a little awkward in English, and would more naturally be said as "Eating fermented herring ...".


    Tack så mycket


    It also makes me puke!


    Took me three tries to learn that "does make me" is wrong. >_

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