Today I found this sentence in one of the reading materials of my Japanese book:
According to the book explanation ほど is being used here to adduce an extreme example to metaphorically indicate the degree or severity of something. In this sentence, as I understand it, the writer is using 佃煮【つくだに】 (which I understand has a strong flavor) to indicate how hard it was to assimilate Japanese language.
However I'm not sure if I got it right, I cannot quite explain or translate the sentence. I tried to look for other examples of the grammatical pattern on Internet but I couldn't find anything that could clarify the meaning of the sentence, I also looked at Wikipedia article for 佃煮【つくだに】 and I think the strong flavor of the food is the key here.
Could someone explain me the sentence, and if it isn't too much to ask give me an approximate translation.