Foods that Smell Bad but Taste Good

Limburger Cheese

This cheese's fragrance is sometimes compared to smelly feet. Brevibacterium linens appears for fermentation in the third month of age. If you can get beyond the unpleasant aroma, you'll enjoy this European cheese's creamy, soft texture and rich, powerful flavour, which works nicely with a cool beer.


This southeast Asian fruit is distinguished by its scent, which is comparable to rotting onions, dirty socks, or turpentine. Eesh! Once you taste the creamy, almond-flavored flesh, you'll understand why it's nicknamed "king of fruit."

Aged eggs

This Chinese delicacy isn't 100 years old when eaten. They're manufactured by immersing eggs in saline solution for a few weeks to months. Traditional methods use alkaline clay, rice hulls, quicklime, and ash. This causes a harsh smell, but the flavour is good (some might say "an acquired taste"). Egg whites and yolks are bitter, sweet, and salty.


This yellow spice is prepared from dried latex from an Indian herb. Like turmeric, it aids digestion and enhances flavour. It's an important herb in vegetarian meals, recognised for its overwhelming scent and mellow, somewhat garlicky flavour.


Surströmming is fermented Baltic herring from Sweden. By its foul smell, you'd think every can was from the 16th century. The intense fermentation process causes the tins to swell so considerably that they must be opened under water and consumed outdoors to avoid a stink. Best as a sandwich with buttered klämma and chopped onions.


natto is a classic Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans. Rich in protein and nutrients, it's one of Japan's healthiest foods. Its odour has been compared to stinky cheese, and its slimy texture may dissuade some consumers. If you're courageous enough to try it, serve it over rice or add fragrant herbs to balance the flavour.

Stinky Tofu

"Fermented" certainly means "stinky" and "strong-flavored" in food. This dish's name gives it away. Fermented tofu with a pungent fragrance, presented in several ways (street food, mains, side dishes, snack, etc.). Some believe smellier = tastier. Trying it while you have a cold might convince you.


This Nordic fish dish is simply dried cod rehydrated in lye solution. It's boiled or baked after a cold-water rinse. In Sweden, Norway, and the US, it's eaten with boiled potatoes, melted butter, and side dishes. When correctly prepared, despite its foul smell, the taste is modest.

20-Minute Meals

Click Here