... then try Rollmops, Surströmming, or Sushi, especially that tuna kind of Sushi! You'll love it--until you'll see the bill!

Tired of Sardines?

By —— Bio and Archives--January 14, 2019

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... then try Rollmops, Surströmming, or Sushi, especially that tuna kind of Sushi! You’ll love it—until you’ll see the bill!

As Fox News reported “Self-described Japanese ‘Tuna King’ Kiyoshi Kimura paid a record $3 million for a 612-pound (278-kilogram) Bluefin tuna at the first new year’s [2019] auction in Tokyo on Saturday.” After trimming the skin etc., what’s left of the fish must cost the “Tuna King” around $ 6,000 for a mere pound of edible tuna.

Tired of Sardines?

Screen shot of a Fox News video.


What’s Sushi?

You may wonder, what’s so special about “Sushi?”

Not wanting to offend the taste buds of my friends in Japan, let me quote the web’s irrefutable source of wisdom, AKA Wikipedia. It states: “Sushi [...] is a Japanese dish of prepared vinegared rice [...], usually with some sugar and salt, accompanying a variety of ingredients [...], such as [raw] seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits. Styles of sushi and its presentation vary widely, but the one key ingredient is “sushi rice”, also referred to as Shari [...]. The term sushi is no longer used in its original context; it literally means “sour-tasting.”

Tuna is a prime ingredient of Sushi (after rice, I guess). It really must be elevating a connoisseur’s taste buds. Unfortunately, I’m not a member of that exalted club. Doesn’t everyone deserve a “piece of the pie?”—I must have had a poor upbringing.

So, let’s look at some other kinds of more or less raw fish dishes, like “Rollmops.”

What’s Rollmops?

Like Sushi, Rollmops, basically is also raw fish. Specifically it consists of rolled-up herring fillets in a special (white, milk-based ??) sauce.

Like Sushi, Rollmops is mostly an occasional hors d’oeuvre dish. If not mistaken, the Rollmops is a German delicacy. I’ve eaten it repeatedly. It’s okay, but not exactly my most favored food. Again, let me quote Wiki: Rollmops [...] are pickled herring fillets, rolled into a cylindrical shape, often around a savory filling.” Jars of Rollmops are also available at many deli stores for a few dollars.

Now, if you are really adventurous, you ought to try a Swedish delicacy, called “Surströmming.”

What’s Surströmming?

As far as I can reckon, it’s the same kind of herring that you find in Rollmops, however, it’s canned without any preservative. As a consequence, the stuff starts fermenting soon after the canning. That fermentation produces a lot of gas (primarily hydrogen sulfide and other foul-smelling sulfides) and builds up a substantial pressure inside the cans.

A bulging can of well fermented Swedish “Surströmming”


Only, when such cans are visibly bulging (from that fermentation pressure, see picture nearby) are the contents ready to be consumed. That time is normally in late August, when the Swedes enjoy the waning long days and warm temperatures that come with that season. Even then, a good bonfire is helpful to keep warm and relish a taste of Surstr√∂mming on some “Knaeckebrot,” a kind of thin and crisp waffle bread.

For your partaking in that tradition, there is just one important thing to remember: Make sure you open that can of Surströmming downwind from you! The escaping gas might not be what you cherish. However, the taste of the tin’s content is actually not bad, if I remember correctly, similar to that of sardines and herring.


Sardines are even smaller fish than herring. As you’ll likely know, they are widely available at grocery stores, packaged in small flat tins, at a price of roughly $6 per pound. They come either packaged in vegetable oil, or in tomato or another aqueous sauce. A brief sterilization step of the canned fish assures a long shelf life without fermentation or spoilage. Brief videos on the canning process can be found at here and elsewhere.

And what’s the best about sardines: they taste delicious, at least to me.

But if you prefer to spend $6,000 per pound for blue-finicky tuna, stop by the fish market in Tokyo!


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Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser is author of CONVENIENT MYTHS, the green revolution – perceptions, politics, and facts Convenient Myths

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