• Sweden edition
 
Suspected gas leak was fermented herring

Suspected gas leak was fermented herring

Published: 09 Sep 2012 09:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Sep 2012 09:40 GMT+02:00

“The person who called the police had spoken to several neighbours in the house who also thought it smelled like gas, and were worried,” said Stockholm fire fighter Björn Hörnsten to the national radio station SR.

On the scene, however, emergency services were quickly able to classify the unpleasant smell as harmless, since it didn’t come from anything more dramatic than a traditional Swedish autumn party.

“I guess somebody didn’t know what surströmming smells like,” said Sven-Erik Olsson from the police’s command centre to the TT news agency.

Surströmming, or fermented herring, is a traditional Swedish delicacy, but its odour is notoriously foul. In the beginning of fall, it’s not uncommon for Swedes to gather some friends and spend an evening together enjoying the smelly fish at what is called a surströmmingsskiva (fermented herring party).

But on this occasion, the smell spread from the apartment out to the stairwell, scaring the neighbours.

“They’ve got gas in the building, so I find it a bit strange that they called us. They ought to know what it smells like when you turn on a gas stove. It doesn’t smell like surströmming at all,” said Hörnsten.

According to the Stockholm fire department, this isn’t the first time they’ve rushed out to respond to an emergency call and ended up at a surströmming party.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

11:32 September 9, 2012 by JulieLou40
I can fully understand why they thought it was gas or something else dangerous. I've only smelled it once, but it was absolutely disgusting. I think it should be banned for use anywhere except out in the countryside, where you're not going to make your neighbours feel sick.
12:21 September 9, 2012 by rise
Surströmming is a barbaric tradition that should have died out long since.
12:42 September 9, 2012 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
OK it supposedly smells but what does it actually taste like?
13:21 September 9, 2012 by Green2013
It is now wonder the Vikings of the past went beserk.
13:32 September 9, 2012 by Hisingen
#3

Very few ever get near enough to taste the stuff. The peg on your nose is never strong enough to keep out the smell, and after the obligatory half bottle of vodka necessary you are not capable of movement . . . .
14:01 September 9, 2012 by Borilla
Yes but the vodka is good.
14:37 September 9, 2012 by skatty
I think to follow Swedish traditions will help immigrants to adapt themselves to Sweden and learn Swedish language; even though the smell of adaptation might be terrifying and make you to pass out!

Try it.
15:20 September 9, 2012 by Svensksmith
You first.
15:23 September 9, 2012 by swinglish
It actually tastes very good, but I do agree that it is better to eat it put in the open than in an apartment block.
17:36 September 9, 2012 by Hamsterdam
I don't believe for second that the emergency services "rushed" anywhere.
19:23 September 9, 2012 by cattie
^^^ #10 so true

I live in the city and I actually DID think that it was against the many rules of apartment life to open surströmming. When I first came to Stockholm and a surströmmingsskiva was described, I asked my friend if we could have such a party, and she said no it would not be allowed in the apartmentt building.

I cannot imagine a homeowners association(bostadrättsföreningen) allowing it. Or a landlord.
22:47 September 9, 2012 by kparsels
Is this available in the US? sounds like fun for a snack in an airport. before HLS starts gropes us.
23:44 September 9, 2012 by janswed
It tastes a lot better then it smells ,earthy spicy,but you need all the acroutments that comes with it,brannvin or vodka is one of them,there is a legal limit for when you can consume such a meal,or atleast there used to be,now I feel a little homesick,oh well.
23:54 September 9, 2012 by johnny1939
I love surstromming but it should be eaten outside. I certainly would never have it in my place!!! It would probably take weeks until you got rid of the smell. If you can imagine Limburger Cheese but 10 times worse. Last time I had this delicacy was in Honolulu, Hawaii of all places.
02:42 September 10, 2012 by Investor612
I've never been to a fermented herring party.

What a sheltered life.
11:26 September 10, 2012 by rise
Surströmming does not smell. It STINKS! Eating it is just an other excuse of having some more of that brännvin. If I would want to tank myself up I could do it without the surströmming. I wouldn't need any excuse for drinking brännvin but just drink and be done with it.
00:34 September 11, 2012 by johnny_m
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:51 September 11, 2012 by Penlua
this method seems to be old one .Now days we not use such things.

Houston moving companies
19:45 September 14, 2012 by tadchem
Anyone who can't tell Surströmming from a Chinese Century Egg by smell has no reason to be in Sweden. Or China.
Today's headlines
National
Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Summer has come to a definite end in Kiruna as residents of the northern town were greeted with a blanket of snow on Sunday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart
Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Photo: Leo Sellén/TT

Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart

Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has said that the election success of the Sweden Democrats is a "slap" in the face for the Stockholm establishment. READ  

National
Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis
Somali nationals taking part in a demonstration against deportations in Stockholm. File photo:Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/ TT

Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis

Three young men in southern Sweden suspected of attacking Somali refugees with stones and screaming "sieg heil" have been indicted on charges of racial agitation. READ  

National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

866
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN