Exploding 'surstromming'

Recently about 1,000 cans of 'surstromming' (the fermented Baltic herring specialty) caused a major fire near Hudiksvall. 

  • Imagine the smell when one thousand cans like the one above, filled with ”surströmming,” exploded in Borkbo…
  • A boathouse and a refrigerated warehouse containing just about 1,000 cans of ”surströmming” (the fermented Baltic herring specialty), burnt to the ground the other day in Borkbo, outside of Enånger in Hudiksvall municipality. In the heat, the cans exploded.
    ”The explosions lasted for six hours,” says Hans-Erik Englundh, part owner of the Borkbo Salteri. Englundh slept in a nearby cabin, when a neighbor who had discovered the fire, woke him up. There were four people sleeping on the top floor of the boathouse. Says Englundh: ”We had to go in and scream at them to get out. Wallets, keys, and telephones were left behind.” Emergency services had to focus on saving the adjacent boathouse. ”The firefighters said that it usually smells like tires, rubber, and plastic, but this time it actually smelled like ’surströmming’,” Englundh concludes. Ouch, not the nicest smell in the world!

  • Read more about the world's most smelly dish, The preservation of fish in olden days
    (When opened, the can releases a mighty puff of mercaptane gas, a substance so potent that 0.000,000,000,04 of a gram per liter of air is quite enough to make it fully perceptible...)