'Every country has its weird dishes': Swedish PM invites Nordic leaders to try fermented herring

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'Every country has its weird dishes': Swedish PM invites Nordic leaders to try fermented herring
The Nordic leaders at their meeting. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven opted to give his Nordic counterparts a unique taste of Swedish hospitality at a meeting of leaders in his hometown Örnsköldsvik – by serving up the country's controversial fermented herring, surströmming.


Like many Swedes Löfven is a surströmming aficionado, but the dish tends to divide opinion, with detractors comparing the smell to rotten eggs (caused by the acids produced in the months-long fermentation process), with the taste similar.

Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen and Norwegian PM Erna Solberg had a chance to make up their own minds when Löfven kicked off their meeting in northern Sweden on Tuesday with a visit to a local surströmming producer.

According to Swedish news agency TT, Løkke Rasmussen had a hard time describing the delicacy with words before eventually settling on "it was actually tasty and flavourful".

Solberg was less diplomatic, saying that every country has its "weird dishes", then clarifying that it tasted good.

READ ALSO: What you need to know before trying Sweden's fermented herring

The Swedish PM tucking in to surströmming. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Löfven appeared to enjoy the opportunity to share the local delicacy. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Also in attendance were the leaders of Finland and Iceland – though their thoughts on stinky fermented fish are not currently known.

Aside from a snap survey on Sweden's most divisive food, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss more serious matters like security policy, the situation in the Baltic region, and Nordic cooperation.

READ ALSO: Seal 'explosion' risks fermented herring shortage


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