The stinkiest foods in the world - have you tried one?

Although considered specialities, many dishes in the world make diners "hold the breath and grimace" because the taste is not very pleasant.

1. Rotten herring (Sweden)

This is one of the traditional dishes in Northern Sweden. The herring, after being caught, removed the head and tail, washed, are salted for about a day to absorb the spices.

Next, the fish are marinated in barrels, then laid under the sun for about 24 hours so that the fish can begin to ferment. Finally, fish are brought into a cold room, canned and marketed. The fermented herring is covered in a sealed can, causing the pressure to rise which often makes the cans inflated. Some airlines have banned people from taking this item on board as they fear it could violate safety regulation.

This dish has a very unpleasant taste that not everyone can enjoy

Swedes usually eat rotten herring together with thin hard bread, boiled potatoes, onions, tomatoes, butter and sauce.

The dish is a challenge even for the most courageous people because just smelling can makes visitors shed a tear, dizzy and even vomit immediately.

2. Fermented rotten stingray (Korea)

The so call fermented rotten stingray “hongeo” of Korea has an extremely unpleasant smell that some people even compare it with the smell from the… toilet.

This dish is made from stingray without bladder or kidney. Thus, their digestive waste is simply expelled through the skin, in the form of uric acid.

People often eat fresh stingrays. But Koreans have a different way. They stack dozens of stingrays on top of each other, put them in the fridge, and left them to sit there for a month until the fish stink. When they are rotten enough, they will take the fish out, sliced ​​thinly and... eaten raw.

Despite being called the "most stinking fish in the world", for Koreans it is considered a speciality

When making fermented stingray, uric acid in its skin will turn into ammonia. Anyone has ever had direct contact with ammonia will know how bad the smell is.

After eating, the stench will still be on clothes, skin and hair of diners for hours. For many Koreans, the smellier the stingrays, the more delicious they are. The stinky, dark pink fish is a speciality dish.

3. Rotten shark (Iceland)

This dish has the odour of ammonia. The meat of this fish is very poisonous that people normally need to boil them in many turns of water, dry or ferment them for about 6 to 12 weeks; and Icelanders often choose the third way of processing, which is burying the fish underground for the poison to decompose into ammonia. After the standard time, they dig up and dry the fish in the sun for a few more weeks before eating.

Another worth mentioning processing method is hanging them in the storage for the flesh to rot. People cut the fish into blocks, hang in the storage, then rotten flesh will release toxic uric acid in the skin. This method requires avoiding sunlight and has a term from 2 to 4 months.

This fish has the smell of ammonia

For Icelanders, this is a traditional and familiar dish, but for diners, many people agree that rotten shark is the most horrible, the smelliest dish they have ever eaten.

4. Rotten meat soup with maggot

This rotten soup is called “Kinh Coong”, an indispensable dish in important occasions of the Kho Mu ethnic group (Son La).

To make rotten meat, people hang the meat in the kitchen weeks to weeks, then splash water into it daily to create a moisture environment which attracts flies to nest and brings microorganisms.

Hanging meat to make them rotten

The meat is not seasoned with salt and spices but hung for decomposition until it stinks. Then it will be processed. The more rotten the flesh is and the more maggots it has, the more standard of the meat. Besides, people only hang the most rotten parts of the flesh such as viscera, belly meat.

To cook the dish “Kinh Coong”, people have to stew the meat in broth, then add vegetables, spices, and a little bit of rice flour to thicken it. The spices including pepper, garlic, ginger, forest leaves, chilli, lemongrass which are believed to help people treat stomachache, liver and biliary diseases.

"Kinh Coong" - Rotten meat soup

By: Lily Woods

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