Hungry? Craving a snack? How about a nice meat sandwich made with 27-year old vintage meat? Yes, I said years, not days or weeks or even months. The Swedish government has sold 27-year old meat to the rest of the world, mostly to Poland. I’m not quite sure if this is their attempt at trying to give the rest of the world food poisoning so they can take over the world, or if it’s just the Swedish way of saying “Hey, you seem nice, have some rotten meat!”
Luckily, the Swedish government was only allowed to sell the meat as people food outside of the European Union. Because clearly it’s okay for people outside of the EU to eat three decades old meat. Inside the EU it was supposed to be used as animal food. Probably the Swedish government also thinks road kill bolognese is a real meal somewhere.
The Poles sent this meat to be used in schools, bars and catering companies. Until someone took a look at it and realized that it actually looked a little like someone had already eaten it once and it had taken a not so nice ride through someone’s digestive system.
Apparently the meat was found in various stages of decomposition. No shit? 27-year old meat is decomposing? I can’t even make meat last a week in my fridge. I wouldn’t want to know how many preservatives have been pumped into this meat to make it reach the tender age of dinosaur without growing legs and walking away.
I don’t know what the policy regarding rotten meat is in your country, but where I live we usually just throw it out. My best guess is that in Sweden rotten meat is a delicacy of epic proportions. They probably age the meat to perfection, leaving the meat in cans for decades to let it achieve the perfect level of decomposition before they consume it. I’ve taken the liberty to make a little reference list so you can rot your meat the same way the Swedes do:
1-2 years past expiry date: This meat is still edible according to most people’s standards. Swedes won’t enjoy this at all. Leave to rot.
2-5 years past expiry date: This is better. When tasting, look for nuances of spoiled fat and stale preservatives. Swedes love this.
5-10 years past expiry date: This is when the decay really sets in. At this point Swedes look for a funny color to the meat and a smell resembling a mix of dirty socks and blue cheese. Connoisseurs will be satisfied with meat of this vintage, but if older meat is available, they will inevitably go for that.
10-15 years past expiry date: At this point Swedes will sigh in satisfaction as they take in the smell of prime decomposition. Most of the day-to-day meats will reach their prime during the 12th year of rot and should be eaten at this stage.
15-20 years past expiry date: If you can find a can of this vintage, you are in luck! As finer meats near the 20-year mark, they will achieve an entirely new level of decay. The color will resemble the rainbow, heavy on the green. The smell has lessened, and you won’t in fact smell anything at all until you add a drop of water and stir with a special device used solely for this purpose. It’s called a “sked”. Google it. This is a real treat to Swedes and if you serve a Swede meat of this age, you will have made a friend for a long time to come.
20-25 years past expiry date: A delicacy only available to the greatest and most determined connoisseurs. Leaving meat to decompose for this long requires hard work and excellent restraint as the meat releases irresistible fumes during the entire process.
25-30 years past expiry date: The meat the Swedish government sold to Poland was 27 years old and a true rarity. It had most likely reached a state of putrefaction seldom seen outside of certain meat fetish circles. It’s not known why the Swedish government willingly is selling this meat, but we can only assume the country has suffered a constitutional crisis and will be reborn as a dictatorship any day now.
30 years and more past expiry date: Meat this old cannot be eaten anymore. It is believed that a delicacy of these proportions would leave the digester in a permanent state of bliss due to the severe case of profound happiness they would achieve. I don’t recommend you try this since you will never be satisfied with normal, non-rotten meat after you try it.
I hope this reference list serves you well and that you succeed with the decaying. I know you’ll get many interesting and wonderful culinary experiences while on this decomposition voyage, but I also know you won’t be sorry. An entire country full of Swedes can’t be wrong… Can they? *