Alfta Surstromming Festival2015
By Anastacia Sampson
This is a festival of fermented herring. Traditional Swedes and adventurous eaters may well enjoy this food, as it has a distinct odour and taste that is not generally appealing or appetising. However after bearing the smell and being adventurous enough to eat it, some describe this food as being delicious.
Baltic herring is used for surströmming and is considered an important component of the northern Swedish cuisine. The release of an enzyme from the spine of the small herring (Baltic herring are smaller than Atlantic herring) with bacteria causes fermentation. The bacteria responsible for causing rotting of the actual proteins of the fish are inhibited by addition of salt, as these pathogenic bacteria cannot survive in a high salt medium.