Surströmming is known as the stinkiest food in the world. The Swedish, soured herring is salted, fermented and then stuffed in a tin and is renowned for its pungent, putrid aroma. So when American dad, Joe McCloskey decided he was going to take the Surströmming “stinky fish challenge” and open the tin in front of his wife and two little girls, you know things were about to get both funny and gross.
In the viral video, Joe tells viewers that he’s promised his two daughters, Aisley and Demery, toys and diamonds for his wife if they don’t leave the room while he eats a bite of the “world’s smelliest food”.
He wisely opened the window behind him before opening the tin, but as most Swedes will tell you, surströmming really should only be consumed outside. In fact, the tinned fish is usually not allowed to be eaten indoors in most apartment buildings and usually is only available at restaurants for one night only because of the smell!
Joe’s challenge starts out innocently enough, with the family holding their noses, but soon they begins to feel the full effect of the fishy smell. “It smells like a toot,” says Aisley (the little girl on the right) midway through, but I’m guessing it smells a whole lot worse than that based on the reactions of the rest of the family.
Watching the McCloskey family power through this challenge will make you laugh and possibly gag yourself. But what really cracks me up in the video is Aisley’s question to her dad at the end. All I know is that little girl is a lot braver than I am.
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As for what happens out of frame and after the challenge was over? “All three of them threw up a little, but I got it out of the house fast enough that everyone felt fine after,” Joe said.
His daughters and wife also got their prizes for their participation. “[I] am going to buy the diamonds [for my wife] as promised,” said Joe. “As soon as it was over, I felt so bad for making them sick that I took my daughters for a trip to the toy store. They definitely felt better after that.”
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