When Jörgen Edström visited us in summer, he
brought some boxes of fish and told us, that in Sweden, there it is
normal to eat fish at the summer solstice. He explained to us, that the
fish, a herring, is put into yeast mushroom and it lies there without
air for some months. At summer solstice it is taken as a traditional
The boxes with the fish, that he showed us,
were so curved, that we expected them to burst in a minute!
Jörgen warned us, that the fish smelled awful, though he also assured,
that it tasted very good.
So we let us get invited in the "Traditional Midsummernight-fish-meal".
My parents, who visited us the same day, our children and my friend
Janet were forced, too, and waited curiously.
The preparations began: Jörgen bought something at IKEA. Swedish bread
in a dry, round and soft form, butter, Crème Fraîche and a bottle of
Back at our's, he occupied my kitchen and cooked potatoes, which are
eaten together with the fish.
So the evening was ready to start!
Jörgen disappeared with one of the boxes with the fish, a can-opener
and a plastic bag outside in the garden.
The boxes are put in a plastic bag and opened inside, so that the
liquid, that squirts like an explosion, doesn't get somewhere in the
house. The smell would stay for a while.
Well, I doubted and thought, he would certainly exaggerate ...
I WAS ABSOLUTELY NOT RIGHT !!! Such a nasty smell I hadn't ever
smelled and I decided immediately not to eat the fish because of the
When Jörgen entered the
room, we all lost our breath.
Right away we opened really every window in
the house and Jörgen showed us the way you eat.
Take a potato... because of the moderate taste a bit of Crème Fraîche
and then, everybody got a glass of pepper wodka.... or even two!
The opened box was given around.
Our daughter Corinna
decided to taste the fish. But when the box of fish reached her, she
changed her opinion immediately, and ate only some potatoes, the bread
with butter and the Crème Fraîche.
...our son Björn already
fled at the preparation.
The others took a little
bit of the fish and began to put everything together.
The expressions of their faces were indescribably and suddenly everyone
of us started to laugh.
For the courage Jörg drank another glass of wodka (or two or three) ...
... and he took the box
"Has anybody seen our
dog?" At the meantime, even Laines fled secretly out of the room. And
there were no flies that evening either!
After the meal, which was as short as possible, we cleaned the table
and the plates and everything.
The can-opener, which lay down in the kitchen and wich refused to give
the smell away, was also put into the dishwasher.
Laines, our dog, that I had called to give him the rest of the fish,
smelled for short time and seemed to think of licking the Crème Fraîche
rest, but he rather ran away, without enjoying the "sweets" of the
The traditional midsummernight-fish-meal was an offense for the nose,
but a success for the laughter muscles.
About the taste:
- My mother? Only laughter;
- my father? No answer;
- Janet? habituation-needily;
- our daughter Jenni? It's awful! ;
- and Jörg? Well.....
As dessert we ate a lot of ice cream...
and everybody wanted to participate of course.
So, if anybody visits
Sweden and is invited to the traditional
midsummernight-fish-meal....... Pay Attention!!!!
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