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Lad tries 'world's most disgusting food' that causes people to vomit before they even eat it

Lad tries 'world's most disgusting food' that causes people to vomit before they even eat it

The fish has made hundreds of people who've tried it vomit

I trudged towards the Disgusting Food Museum in Malmo feeling like a man walking himself to his own execution.

All right, that's a tad dramatic but you get the idea that I didn't want to get where I was going.

My travelling companions bid me farewell on the street, their expressions writ with sympathy as they knew the ordeal which now faced me.

They had offered to stand with me in this most difficult moment, but I knew this was something I had to do myself.

Also they were very eager to use our remaining time in the city to do a spot of vintage shopping, and who could blame them?

As we parted ways I turned towards my terrible task, and as you can probably tell by the headline this was to eat the 'world's most disgusting food'.

People's idea of what that might be may vary but in this case I had to chow down on some of the Swedish delicacy, surströmming.

They are really proud of the food.

What is Surströmming?

For those not familiar with the dish, it's a kind of fermented herring where just enough salt is used to stop the fish from rotting, and as such, the taste and smell is quite unlike anything else I've experienced before.

The proper method of opening a can of this stuff is in a bucket of water while you're outside to avoid contaminating the great indoors with the smell.

In fact, the fish stinks so badly that in 1981 in Germany, a landlord evicted a tenant who'd spread surströmming brine over the building's stairs.

When the matter went to court, the judge ruled in the landlord's favour after they opened up a can of the fermented fish in the courtroom and found the stench too disgusting to tolerate.

It's no surprise that the fish dish takes pride of place in Malmo's Disgusting Food Museum, which is where I ventured to try this thing for myself.

Once inside, I was handed a sick bag which turned out to be my ticket by a very friendly and helpful member of staff, my eyes were immediately drawn towards a sign on the wall declaring that it had been '7 DAYS SINCE LAST VOMIT' and that the overall count stood at 429.

Distinctly hoping not to round that number out to 430, I set about exploring the museum's collection of disgusting food in the hopes of putting off my ordeal a little longer.

The museum proudly boasts that the Swedish dish is responsible for half their vomits.

The taste test

I won't lie, dear reader, I was rather in two minds about eating surströmming.

On the one hand, I am an avid fan of seafood and willing to eat almost anything that has come from the sea, and hoped that this would carry me through what had been advertised as a disgusting ordeal.

On the other hand, the number of people who've tried this fish and been unable to avoid spewing uncontrollably as a result was enough to set my mind with worry.

The prospect that I might hurl up my guts in the middle of this trip rather cast a shadow over what came before it, as my mounting worry overtook my hope that being a serial seafood scoffer would be enough.

Here we were, the moment I'd been dreading where I'd actually had to eat a bite of this fermented fish.

The outcome

Grasping the wooden spoon upon which this mouthful of Malmo's morsel sat, the first thing that hit me with surströmming was the smell.

Quite frankly it is the most pungently, fishy pong that has ever made contact with my nostrils.

Imagine if you will, dear reader, the clear and aquatic stench of a seafood counter at a supermarket, then imagine combining all of those scents into one powerfully pungent whiff and multiplying that by about three or four magnitudes.

That's what surströmming smells like.

If you really can't stand the stench of seafood, it's understandable why you'd be sick before even taking a bite at this point, but for your sake dear reader, I soldiered on.

Pausing only to explain to you that the ticket for the Disgusting Food Museum is a sick bag, I popped the morsel into my mouth and my tongue was immediately assaulted by a plethora of flavours.

Sharp, fishy and salty, eating surströmming is certainly what I'd call an interesting experience and not one I'd be rushing back to repeat.

Expecting to hate the taste, I was pleasantly surprised when I found that I could bear it, and even understand why someone might willingly eat some.

In that moment, all my worries over the past few days fell away as I realised I wasn't going to puke on camera for your entertainment and I could actually enjoy what I was tasting.

It was nothing like the culinary ordeal I was expecting, and the museum's staff explained that part of the reason for surströmming's fearsome reputation is that a lot of people who get some for a taste test don't eat it properly.

Sadly, I carried my newfound confidence into the next dish on offer, salted liquorice, and promptly had an absolutely foul experience, which I would compare to being stabbed repeatedly in the tongue by a knife made of salt.

That's because the salt coating was not the regular sodium chloride you'd sprinkle on your chips, but the stronger and sharper ammonium chloride.

You live and learn.

The Disgusting Food Museum, Malmo. It's worth a visit.

The Disgusting Food Museum

I will say that should you ever find yourself in Malmo, I would heartily recommend siphoning an hour or so off your schedule for a trip to the Disgusting Food Museum. It really is a fun experience and they don't make you eat anything you don't want to.

Your ticket for this fine establishment comes in the form of a sick bag, and if you can't keep the contents of your stomach confined in one bag or another then staff will offer to fetch you a mop.

This place had everything from 'sheep eyeball juice' from Mongolia to wasabi Kit-Kats that were sold in Japan and everything in between.

Among the dishes on display were a 'three penis liquor' brewed from the phalluses of seals, deer and dogs, while if that didn't take your fancy you could get a good look at a wine containing hundreds of hairless baby mice.

Apparently they'd sold out of guinea pigs that day.

Already concerned that I was going to throw up on my trip given surströmming's fearsome reputation, the sight of a wheel of cheese writhing with maggots did little to settle my stomach.

While the UK might have a bit of a poor reputation food-wise (a reputation I'd dispute), we only had three entries in the museum in the form of black pudding, stinking bishop cheese and haggis, so I'd say we come off pretty well in that regard.

What was less encouraging was the sight of an old Wall's ice cream freezer repurposed into cold storage for some of the dishes you could buy and take away from the museum yourself.

With plans for a delicious evening meal already lined up and not wanting to spoil my appetite I declined to get a snack to take away with me.

Besides, the good residents of Malmo had already bought the museum's entire stock of guinea pig meat.

Featured Image Credit: LADbible/Joe Harker

Topics: Food And Drink, Travel, World News, Weird