Category Archives: Stinky Food

Mr. Creosote


The following scene is not for those with weak constitutions.

Wikipedia has this to say about it:

It has been suggested that the scene is one of the most repulsive in twentieth-century cinema. Director Quentin Tarantino has confessed to being nauseated by this scene, but critics with stronger stomachs have praised its dark humour. (Leonard Maltin noted it as “an unforgettable scene, like it or not.”) It was filmed in the Porchester Centre, a public building owned by the City of Westminster on Porchester Road, London.

FYI, Mr. Creosote is played by Terry Jones.

Praise it

Flush This

What the Sons of Norway Lutefisk dinner was like

When I was still married, my wife accepted an invitation to a pre-Christimas lutefisk dinner for us, from a lady of Norwegian extraction with whom she worked. At the time, I had heard of lutefisk, but knew little about it.

“It’s cod,” my wife told me, “prepared a special way.”

I like fish. I like cod. But when I think “cod,” in my mind’s eye I see English style beer-battered cod-filets on a plate, golden brown, with a lot of steak fries. Tartar sauce and coleslaw on the side.

Therefore I, in my naiveté, was looking forward to the lutefisk dinner….

Nothing but the bald truth could have prepared me for the reality. When I walked into the Sons of Norway hall, I was hit in the face by a wall of smell, which was suitable for an invocation of Shakespeare:

“The rankest compounds of villainous smell that ever offended nostril.”

Continue reading

Recipes: Liver Mush & Hog Lights Stew

These are genuine down-home recipes, taken from The Treasury of White Trash Cooking, by Ernest and Trisha Mickler.


  • 1 hog liver, cut up, washed and picked clean of the membranes
  • 3/4 cups of coarse ground cornmeal
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • 1 Tbsp sage
  • 1 tsp flake red pepper

Cook liver in salted water until tender. Drain and mash to a paste. Make a sluice of the liver and one cup of the liver juice. Put in a pot and bring up to a boil while adding the cornmeal, till it gits (sic) good and thick. Add seasonings. Scrape into a mold of some kind and let it get cold. Remove and slice. It’s a meal in one.

Comments: Sick. When I was a kid, my mom used to boil liver for the cat, and I can personally vouch for the fact that it stinks.

(“lights” are the lungs and the liver of a pig, cooked together)

  • 1 set of hog lights
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 toes garlic, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Flour

Chop your lights up into bite-size pieces. Fry down in a heavy pot with the onion and garlic till it is brown. Add water to cover, salt and pepper, and stew till tender. If it’s not thick enough for you, use a little flour to make it thicker. Spoon that over rice and some Scratch Backs* on the side, and you’re fixed.

Praise it

Flush This

* Scratch backs are pig skin and attached fat, salted, rolled in cornmeal, and fried. They turn out very crunchy, thus the name “Scratch Backs” – they “scratch your back” going down.

Stinky? Wash with onions.

Don’t wash with theseOkay, so the hospital left a swab inside her body after labor, creating pain and misery, and causing a stench to develop. That’s bad. But where on earth did this woman get the idea that washing with onions was going to help?

Mother may sue over swab left in body after labour

Hendrick Mphande

A YOUNG Motherwell woman is considering legal action after nurses left a swab inside her body after the birth of her baby.

Naledi Maleke‘s ordeal started on the morning of January 6, 2006, when she developed labour pains and her sister and a friend took her to the Motherwell Clinic, a 10-minute drive from her parents‘ home.

She had a disagreement with a nursing sister at the clinic over how she should position herself before giving birth. The nurse apparently “developed an attitude” when she refused to lie in a position in which she felt uncomfortable.

“Two days after leaving the hospital, I started experiencing discomfort and pains in the abdominal area,” said Maleke.

“I was unable to walk properly and this was accompanied by a stench.”

After 17 days of excruciating pain along with the foul odour, the East Cape Midlands College student consulted a doctor in Kwazakhele who discovered the swab.

“I tried everything from washing with salty water and peeled onions mixed in a bucketful of water, but the awful smell I picked up after giving birth to my baby boy had a grip on me,” said Maleke….

Read the entire article

Praise it

Flush This

Stinky Jobs has posted a list, via, of 20 “offbeat jobs.” Several of these jobs involve stench in one form or another, and therefore interest us here at Things That Stink:

Breath odor evaluator

Job description: Sniff morning breath, coffee-breath, garlic breath, etc. Rate breath. Stinky subject then uses breath freshening product, odor-evaluator sniffs breath again and rates it a second time.

Flatulence smell-reduction underwear maker

Job description: Fashion special undies with built in filters to capture various noxious butt-gases (hydrogen sulfide, most notably). Worn by people with gastrointestinal problems.

Dog-breath evaluator

Job description: Sniff dog’s breath in order to evaluate effect of dog’s diet on his chops-stench. Ratings: 1-10 (10 being worst) with additional categories of sweaty, salty, musty, fungal or decaying.

Porta-potty servicer

Job description: Pretty much self-explanatory. But I betcha they find some nasty shit, both literally and figuratively, inside those stinky little booths.

See the entire list at

Praise it

Flush This

Putrified, Rancid Skate: An Icelandic Delicacy


Speaking of putrified skate, I had an opportunity to smell one, many years ago. I was on vacation in Long Beach, Washington, and while beachcombing one day, encountered a dead skate upon the beach. It was the worst goddamned thing I ever smelled. In fact, it became the standard to which I likened the smell of fresh-cooked lutefisk (which I haven’t written about here, yet).

Having had this experience, I shuddered involuntarily when I happened upon an article extolling the gustatory virtues of Skata, a “timeless” Icelandic standard, which falls under the loose and ill-defined category of “fermented animal products.” Quite simply, before cooking and consumption, the skate must be prepared by being “kept for weeks under stones and turf and then being hung out for drying in the cold climate.”

Sounds like rotten fish, to me. However, the author of the article “Strange Smelling Delicacy” at The Iceland Review online insists that “…it is by no means rotten or damaged. It is only fermented like cheese, and is very healthy…”

I would like to take a moment here to correct a misconception that this author is promoting, as countless others have done before him–

There are a number of animal-based foods from different parts of the world that are described as being “fermented.” However, the term is erroneous when applied to such foods because fermentation properly means the decomposition of carbohydrates, and since animal tissues are composed of proteins and lipids, and contain at most only traces of carbohydrates, the operative processes in the transformation undergone by these foods are actually putrefaction and rancidification. (source)

So, Skata, its “health benefits” and “gustatory delights” notwithstanding, is a putrified, rancid skate. Which is exactly what I would expect to result from burying a dead fish, and then hanging it out to dry. That’s why it’s “strong smelling.” Because it’s freakin’ rotten.

Me – I’ll opt for a nice fresh piece of halibut grilled in butter, any day.

Praise it

Flush This

Kelly Rowland: Smells Like Onions

Kelly ‘Ooh, I love Onions’ Rowland Kelly Rowland caused a massive stink on a flight – with a sandwich.

The former Destiny’s Child star hates eating plane food so she decided to grab a “smelly” Subway takeaway roll laden with onions before boarding.

She said: “I took a Subway sandwich onto a plane and I was in first class. The other passengers were not happy with the smell! I looked around and could see a lot of disgusted faces. I put everything on it, and the onions made it really smelly!”

Although none of her fellow passengers scolded the singer, Kelly already had her excuse readied in case someone did shout at her.

She added: “If I think I’m going to get into trouble I always say that I’m sick. Then they feel like they can’t really be cross with you. They think you are too feeble for them to be angry with you.”


Praise it

Flush This

Surströmming: “Sour Herring”

Rotten FishSurströmming is an ostensible “delicacy” common to northern Sweden. Referred to as “fermented* or “soured” herring, it is made by putting fresh caught fish in barrels to sit for a couple months, with just enough salt added to suppress the more nasty varieties of bacteria that would propagate in the slurry, otherwise. After two months, the fish is transferred to cans where the “fermentation” process continues, often causing the can to swell (which we in the U.S. would equate with the presence of botulism).

The swelling results from the production of carbon dioxide gas through the action of Haloanaerobium , a species of bacterium which feeds upon the fish.

Rotten Fish on Cracker-breadThe fish has such a foul odor that it is often opened and consumed out-of-doors. The smell results from the following compounds, produced during the “fermentation” period, which also add to the “complex” flavor of the product:

  • propionic acid: pungent/acrid quality
  • butyric acid: rancid-butter
  • hydrogen sulfide: rotten-eggs
  • acetic acid: vinegar-like

Praise it

Flush This
*Not accurate. The process of fermentation refers specifically to the biological action of organisms breaking down carbohydrates (as in grains, fruits, etc.). The processes which occur in animal products (which contain almost no carbohydrate) are properly called “putrefaction” and “rancidification.” It may be that purveyors of putrid, rancid flesh products adopted the term “fermentation” because 1.) The process superficially resembles the process of fermenting carbohydrates 2.) Because “fermented” sounds less noxious than “putrid” and “rancid.”

Garlic Stinks

But we love it.


“The Stinking Rose” restaurant, with two locations in California, is devoted exclusively to that ubiquitous and pungent member of the lily family. Next time I’m in San Francisco (it’s been years), I might just check it out.

Probably not the best choice for a first date, though.

Praise it

Flush This

Stinky Tofu: Beancurd or BeanTURD?

chodoufuRestaurant owner fined for bad smell of his bean curd

Odor costs him about $3,100


For Peng Tian-rong, business stinks, and he hopes it stays this way.

The chodoufu — a rancid fermented bean curd — Peng sells at his eatery in Shinzhuang, Taipei Prefecture, also has brought the sweet smell of success.

However, the distinctive odor of his chodoufu has seen him fall afoul of the authorities, who have ordered him to pay a fine of 100,000 New Taiwan dollars (about $3,100) for polluting the air. The fine, equivalent to two months’ wages for an ordinary worker, is the first ever imposed on chodoufu deemed too stinky….

…The fine has become a badge of honor that is drawing more customers, some of them traveling from afar to sample his wares.

Some businessmen have sensed an opportunity to cash in on the stink by selling air freshener to chodoufu vendors, saying authorities might crack down on restaurants selling the curd.

But not everything has come up smelling like roses for Peng.

Strangers, he said, often ask him if he has stepped in some dog droppings because of the way he smells.

(Read the entire article)

Praise it

Flush This