Wherever you go in the world there will be, to you, weird foods. And people that visit your home country will find some weird things about what YOU eat. Finding things we think are weird that people eat in Sweden is no exception, but some are more extreme than others!
This has to be some of the weirdest shiz around. Just check out grown men crying and barfing just SMELLING the stuff on Youtube. It is one of the world’s most putrid smelling foods. But just what in the heck is it?
Surströmming is lightly-salted fermented Baltic Sea herring that is canned and allowed to ferment for half a year. HALF A YEAR oozing away! Sometimes the cans start to expand from the pressure and EXPLODE by themselves! Proceed with caution! I have personally never smelled it and have been told, just like reeking moldy cheese, that even though it smells disgusting it tastes good. That is something I do not need or want to confirm through experience.
2 Salt Licorice
Wherever you go you will not be able to escape licorice flavor. Swedes LOVE it! Swedish salty liquorice is flavoured with "salmiak salt" (sal ammoniac and ammonium chloride) and creates a mouth-squirming, tongue quivering affect. You’ll find it of course in candy form everywhere, but also in unsuspected places: ice cream, gum, baked goods and booze and even in toothpaste.
3 Kalles Kaviar
Do not confuse this stuff with another similar looking tube in your home - your toothpaste - or you will throw up as instead of a minty fresh mouthful you’ll be getting fish egg spread. Kalle’s Caviar is WILDLY popular in Sweden - a staple practically on every breakfast table. A popular way to eat it is spread over bread or smeared on top of an egg. Made up of salted cod, sugar, canola oil and spices, the recipe has been around for hundreds of years. Today’s Kalle’s Caviar was introduced in 1954 and featured the then company president's son on the packaging. Not much has changed since then. The company realizes it’s particular appeal is a home-grown taste and did a series of tongue-in-cheek commercials trying to get Americans to enjoy Kalle’s as much as Swedes. Americans were practically spitting it out but the commercials were funny and memorable to Swedes so marketing mission accomplished.
4 Fish Balls
Pureed fish squished into a circular ball shape with flattened edges - like a scallop. They’re canned with different sauces. I can’t think of much more to say here….these are not tasty and weird. They are the unflavored bologna of fish.
OK so admittedly, this is not a super weird food. You find it in many countries. I'm not sure how it made our list but it did. I guess because it's something that they eat so regularly and for us it's more of an unusual thing. Sometimes it comes with globs of jelly or gelled unidentifiable stuff in it as well so that's weird!
6 Rhode Island Dressing aka Rhode Island Sauce
Rhode Island Dressing/Sauce - 99 out of 100 salad bars in Sweden will have some version of what Swedes call Rhode Island Sauce, which doesn’t exist in Rhode Island. It’s like someone brought Thousand Island here and just started calling it by the wrong name and it stuck. Here’s the recipe: https://alltommat.se/recept/rhode-island-sas/
This is the Scandinavian feast or banquet buffet which used to be served in the days before Christmas in December but is now served from roughly the third week of November until the days after Christmas. The smorgasbord of flavors must have the traditional Swedish Christmas foods on it - and Swedes look forward to it all year. Herring in all different kinds of sauces, pigs feet, salted cod, meatballs, tiny “prince” mini-hot dogs, traditional cheeses and breads are the savory dishes. The sweet part of the table will include home-made caramels and saffron buns. This is an important annual tradition for Swedes and they spend billions of dollars on it every year. This is a feast that takes hours to eat. A drink that will always be found at a Julbord is traditional spiced mulled wine called Glogg. Served warm and with a scoop of blanched almonds and raisins it gives an unforgettable sensation of the holidays.
#8 Split Pea Soup with Pancakes
In Sweden pea soup has been eaten since the 13th century. That is became a traditional Thursday rule is probably due to the fact that Friday was a fasting day during the Catholic Middle Ages, and people wanted to stuff themselves really full the day before. Today’s pea soup is not green but yellowish mush. Still tasty though but not my idea of pea soup.
Literally translated this means “Flat bread roll”. It’s essentially an enormous Frankenstein-like kitchen sink of ingredients meant to hit every taste bud. It is such a weird food! First the flat bread is rolled up in a cone, then a scoop or two of mashed potatoes are added, a scoop of shrimp salad, one or two hot dogs, ketchup, mustard, sprinkled spices, and dried onions are sprinkled on top.
#10 Blood pudding
This is like Black Pudding in the UK. Similar. It is made from pig’s blood, flour, sugar and spices. It is very popular for children and often served for lunch at schools. It is usually fried and served with lingonberry (similar to cranberry) jam. Sounds so unappetizing unless you're Edward or Bella!