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Are there "stinky" foods you like?

I'm pretty big fan of durian, which most people would describe as smelling like day-old soiled diapers.

There's of course Taiwanese "stinky" tofu, which I love and which some people say reeks of rotting fish.

Some people say things like blue cheese and SE Asian fish sauce stink, but I've never found those food items to be all that malodorous, but then again I'm not a big cheese person.

Do you have any "stinky" foods you love?

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  1. You're a better chower than me, I watch Andrew Zimmern, on Bizzare Foods, try to eat that and he gaged. I'll stick to most pungent cheeses.

    1. Any cheese. Fish in most any fashion. Most pickled products. No natto.

      2 Replies
      1. re: tatamagouche

        Fish in most any fashion? Really?

        I suppose fried fish would be ok, no? Or how about a Fish-O-Filet? :-)

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Is Fish-O-Filet actually fish, or like potato starch & artificial fish flavor?

      2. Hard boiled eggs are pretty smelly! But I DO love egg salad and devilled eggs. Love most stinky cheeses. Don't like fish to smell like anything except the sea. (Not a big sardine or mackerel fan, here.) adam

        1. I love stinky foods.

          -dwenjang and cheonggukjang (smells like a pet store when done well)
          -old kimchi
          -leftover roast turkey that's been sitting in the fridge long enough to get a little funky
          -anything with lots of garlic that's at least a few days old
          -beans (the stink comes later...)

          The stinky tofu I've had has been a let down; plenty stinky, but no more flavorful than regular tofu.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Humbucker

            My new favorite chowquote "smells like a pet store when done well.)

            Humbucker FTW!

          2. 30+ years ago, 8 fit guys departed Westwood, MA. for North Fayston, VT, in a van with chainsaws, provisions, and beer, to first build a bridge across the river, and then a log cabin atop the mountain. In 3 days. The aromatics of the Limburger in my pack drew attention during the ride, and they hunted it down and threw it, unopened, out the window of the speeding van. I was seriously outnumbered and let it be, but I like Limburger. I enjoy lifetime use of the cabin.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Veggo

              I find Pont L'Eveque an even richer flavour than Limburger. Oddly enough the taste is not that strong. There is a an odd though painful pleasure in the smell. Like picking a scab.

              Do not buy it in France and then take another two days driving home. The smell adheres to the inside of the car, reminding you of your holiday for weeks afterwards.

            2. Durian, bleu cheese, pork hom yu, stinky tofu, ...

              But not yak butter tea, pulque, bile, "fresh" chicha or fresh millet beer from the tshamba

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Pulque, along with mayan needlework, is increasingly harder to find.

              2. Broiled mackeral (saba) Japanese style. Won't cook it at home. But in a restaurant, it's great.

                1 Reply
                1. re: PAO

                  I don't even consider that stinky! Love it too.

                2. Kimchi

                  A good hole in the wall Indian joint that leaves you smelling of sauteed kari pata and hing. You know the place that makes you need to wash all of your clothes AND your jacket? LOVE that stuff!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: gordeaux

                    Kimchi! (on my profile) I usually have about four jars in various stages of fermentation, from the baby almost -crunchy for my protestant friends, to the wilting, browning, delicious ambrosia that almost explodes like a hand grenade when I play bomb squad and open it and I survive again. Let the kimchi fun begin!

                    1. re: Veggo

                      Actually had two jars of kimchi explode in checked bags coming back from Korea.

                      1. re: hannaone

                        In the air pressure battle, kimchi and kraut always win, don't they. :)

                        Those un-pressurized cargo holds at 30,000 feet have seen lots of shards of glass and sprayed cabbage.

                  2. Yay! Fellow durian lover!!

                    Um...I think that's it lol. I actually never heard anyone complain about blue cheese in real life before and I don't use fish sauce. I also do not like stinky tofu because I thought they taste pretty bland.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: AngelSanctuary

                      The allure of stinky tofu is not the taste per se; rather, it is the stink that makes stinky tofu special.

                      One could ALMOST say the same about durian. I sometimes wonder if durian would be as tasty if it didn't smell so foul.

                    2. I'm a big fan of nam mem/nan tom/nan ruoc. Mixed in various viscosities, they add some character to a lonely can of sardines. Also good added to juiced green veggies and soups.

                      Su-fu is probably at the entry level of stinky foods, but it's a favorite.

                      Not yet done the deed on the Durian. It's on the life list. Tips for my first sampling would be appreciated

                      Limburger is the caseinated ambrosia of the Gods. Grandpa from Wisconsin would bring it on his visits when I was a child, along with braunschweiger, gjetost, and waferbreads. Mom would simply disappear, totally overwhelmed, already overcome with the simple act of having to use real butter instead of our usual margarine to fry his eggs during his visit. She would provide onions from the pantry, which Gramps would slice to use raw as a palate cleanser. I vividly remember the moment of "gaining my stripes" in his eyes when I suggested we raid my dad's stash of canned anchovies.

                      Gramps was cool. Stoic and usually silent. He built houses in days before Skilsaws. Near the end of his life in 1972 we were watching crosscountry ski races on TV winter Olympics. He turned to me and parsed out one of his infrequent utterances: "When I was your age, in Norway, I raced a horse and sleigh 30 miles, on skis. Beat their ass."

                      Gramps was cool. I reserve Limburger for the times when I want to treasure his memory.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Veggo

                        Susan Boyle...you are da bomb...DON'T...I repeat DON'T... change your looks nor your lovely Scottish brogue EVER!!!! do you hear me??? (I've a "Kerr" in my family tree....quite Scottish.)

                        yes, I do love stinky foods (I think)...love the kimchee, love anything cabbage...love smoked kippers (that co-workers request I eat elsewhere)...love sardines...love sauerkraut...love onions and garlic...all those stinky but quite healthy...foods!

                        1. ips... any French cheese sold in a little ceramic tub is guaranteed to be vile enough to compete with Durian & Stinky Tofu... it is past my tolerance of... I am a lightweight I know... in shame I will now retreat to console with some nieve de ajo.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                            garlic is from the heavens, also

                            1. re: Veggo

                              Agreed.. you da man on the Limberger stuff... I know its complex, nutty & has so many layers... but as soon as the wrapper comes off... its hard to keep the appetite from acting on its flight response =)

                          2. My Western roommates have informed me that most of my favorite Asian foods are "pungent:" kimchi, fermented shrimp paste, daing, vinegar, etc. For the sake of domestic tranquility, I've been forced to limit my consumption to outside the house.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: JungMann

                              That's too bad. When I shared a house with a couple of Koreans, we had a nice East-West stinky-food cross pollination that made opening the refrigerator a sometimes harrowing experience, but sure was tasty for all involved. We seriously contemplated getting a second one for mild things like milk and cucumbers and eggplants, though, as they tended to absorb an odd mix of smells.

                              1. re: tmso

                                I try to minimize the amount of ethnic cooking I do, especially after having had housemates unused to living with foreigners vocally express their shock and bewilderment around most everything I ate: things like gumbo or ginger. On one occassion, apparently fed up with the exotic smells of Asian cookery, one stormed into the kitchen and yelled at me for cooking something that was stinking up the apartment. I was boiling saltwater to make spaghetti.

                                1. re: JungMann

                                  Where do you find housemates like that? In NYC!!!

                            2. I love all the stinky foods you've mentioned: durian, preserved tofu, fish sauce and would like to add a few others: shrimp paste, natto, raclette cheese, kim chi and onions!

                              1. In terms of just using cooking as opposed to febreze to stink up the house...

                                Boiling up the chicken carcases to make stock (wife doesn't like the smell at all)
                                Seasoning a wok or 'self-cleaning' the oven.
                                My weekly curry-fest.
                                Egg salad
                                The sauerkraut fermenting downstairs ... competes with the fermenting beer

                                1. This is the most disgusting thread to ever come down the pike. I hope I can regain my appetite in time for my decidedly non-stinky lunch. ;)

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                      Quite. A half Paraguayan half Uzbek woman was repelled by my salami on wheat and my Red Delicious apple.

                                  1. Roasted garlic
                                    Roasted vidalia onions
                                    just about anytime, any place.

                                    1. "Stinky" is subjective. I like pungent flavors so probably most things I eat are "stinky."

                                      In the US my childhood home and the couple of apartments I lived in had a kitchen which is open to the rest of the house, no doors. Having spent time in my adult years in South Asia and the Middle East I have come across a great home-design: the kitchens have a door! In small apartments, too. A door to keep in all of the food smells! When you cook, you shut the door! In some older upscale houses that I have been to in South Asia, there is even a separate structure that people use as the kitchen, it is not a part of the rest of the house.

                                      Perhaps the real estate crisis in the US will push home designs in a simpler direction from these huge houses with two sinks and two closets in the master bedroom of recent years. But I wish this trend of closable, door bearing kitchens would come to the US. What a great idea. If I were rich I would build my house designed this way. I like that Asian home style, and also that of toilet bidets/spray in home and public restrooms for ultimate cleanliness.

                                      Just a thought. No more food smells in the other rooms, wafting up and permeating the clothes in the closet. A kitchen door. I love it!