Súrir Hrútspungar (Sour Ram's Testicles) That brings us to ram's testicles, a tricky one to justify, no … It is the, not even amount of ammonia maybe in them, or salt, or other chemicals that are different. You know. I'm a shark convert. . And we want it strong. Ju: It's, um, I dye my hair, and it's literally like bleach. Though it is a dish not many could bring themselves to sample, hakarl is a meal rooted in history and tradition. And then we have this one here. Hákarl, Iceland's Fermented Shark or even the Rotten Shark is one of the weirdest things to eat in Iceland yet by some it is considered a delicacy. Ju: OK, great. Make the Tamarind-Fish-Chili Sauce and mix in the Hákarl (Icelandic Fermented Shark Meat) until all the meat has been coated. Well, fermented shark is an Icelandic delicacy and one of the small Nordic island’s national foods. And airplane food. Today fermented shark or “kæstur hákarl” is it is called in Icelandic is simply a way for Icelanders to stay in touch with their roots and ancestry. 18 views. So he needs more time, but these here are ready. He does not have a fat layer. The Shark Museum at Bjarnarhofn farm on the northern side of Snaefellsnes peninsula is where visitors can get a down-home taste of ‘real’ Iceland by meeting with the friendly curator and owner who reveals fascinating details about the local Greenland shark from which traditional ‘hakarl’ is made. Guðjón: Exactly. And under here we have the fillet. [both laugh] Ju: I'm pretty sure that's a cure for something. Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. 109 The shark meat is fermented for 9 weeks before it is ready to eat and is traditionally eaten uncooked in little chunks. So 400 years ago, probably accidentally, they discovered the process to use the meat. The fillet we call skyrhákarl. There’s no denying Iceland is known for having some pretty atypical dishes, at least to many visitors. Just shark, shark, shark. Guðjón: I guess so. It is hard to say beforehand about which group you will find yourself in. Guðjón Hildibrandsson: The Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. Guðjón made me try some fermented shark cubes dipped in Icelandic schnapps. This here, this is from my grandfather's shark-fishing set. Heading to the market by the old harbour in Reykjavik (the capital), I prepared myself. Hakarl was first carefully prepared by the Vikings, who knew that the meat of the Greenlandic shark is poisonous to humans without careful preparation. Guðjón: What's also good is to have a piece of the shark and piece of the rye bread, the Icelandic rye bread. What do Icelanders miss when they are away? So Icelanders, they first started fishing them for the liver. An Iceland Backpacking Trip: Best Tips and Tricks. I would encourage (and challenge!) So it's easier for him to swim and to get faster. How do you feel about that? We don't catch them ourselves, not anymore. One shark will give from 30 to 40 pieces of fillet. So total use of meat is around 8%. That is very interesting. Find out all about it! However, once the shark has been processed the shark is no longer dangerous and consumer-friendly, at least for those without a sense of smell. And we call that glerhákarl. And how did they used to catch it then? Guðjón: Now it's that far in the fermentation that you would be fine. © Copyright 2020. Another option would be to go to the restaurants around Iceland which specialize in Traditional Icelandic Food and they are most likely to have it on their menu. And then he had been working on this boat at least since he was 14. From fishing to cube, the whole process takes six months. The Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. Then a little bit more, you could probably go blind. This is due to a high content of urea and trimethylamine oxide in the shark’s system caused by its utter lack of a urinary system. Ju: I can taste the ammonia kind of smell now. But before, this was eaten, like, with a meal, like, for something extra. Guðjón: The second one was also a little bit bigger. Ju: It's just like, kind of feel it in my heart and my soul now. Just go for it! Ju: No. So it loses a lot of weight here. Guðjón: It is strong. And they used the oil from the liver. This period can last a few months and during this time the strips will develop a brown crust. Guðjón: So, they used hooks. The Top Tourist Attractions in Iceland . Just go down the hatch? The food in Iceland is excellent, superb even so you will have plenty of other opportunities to try some tasty things. But my family used to catch them and hunt them. Fresh meat, you will get very sick. Hákarl, or fermented shark meat, is one such dish. Ju: Oh, wow. The now cleaned cavity is then rested on a small mound of sand and the shark later covered with sand and gravel. These dishes can be traced back to the revival of the festival in the 1950s. However, some still consider it a delicacy and will go through real lengths in order to get their hands on some proper good “hákarl”. It's preserved. 2. At first it was the smell, then the taste. Basically it is rotten shark. And the Greenland shark is, usually he's from 3 meters till maybe 5 meters long. Either you like it, or you don't. The meat is first fermented in cold storage rooms, like this one. Ju: Oh, yeah, yeah. We've sent you an email to confirm your subscription. If you can't find it please check your spam folder. Or maybe its friendly demeanor? We want it to give us, like, a kick. Showcasing how little the development of sharks has been over the last 300 million years. So they start to tease him until the shark swallows the bait. Ju: It's just, yeah. Now it's the texture, it's like, got into almost like a gelatinous kind of texture in my mouth. You can stroke the skin one way, but it's harder to stroke it the other. Especially not if you have a shot of Brennivín liquor to wash down with it! We traveled to Bjarnarhöfn, Iceland where one family has been curing Greenland sharks for hundreds of years. The shark is at this point cut into pieces and hung to dry. All About Hakarl Iceland's Fermented Shark. 'Cause it's poisonous when it's fresh? Only after a long curing process it becomes safe to eat. The taste of the Icelandic fermented shark is very smell-based. So there is never nothing added to this meat in the process. Because, if the matter is dissociated, the scent is what really makes it such a challenge to swallow. It's Greenland shark that's been laboriously fermented, dried, and cured. They couldn't use it. Just, it's just natural process, from the beginning till the end. So, this part of the process, is this the most important part to get the taste of it, or the curing? I've been doing the curing process probably since I was 10. I won't, though, but. You should. Ju: And I just, you know when you have a really strong shot of alcohol, and you get that kind of, like, burning. Even if you never become a fan the Icelandic Hákarl is something you will want to try when in Iceland. And the chain had to be at least 3 meters. They just flip over, and the old ones, they just fall off. He described it as reminiscent of “. It's hair bleach. It's Greenland shark that's been laboriously fermented, dried, and cured. And then, of course, the shark on his own. And the meat is, it's more chewy and salty. The shark does have a reputation internationally. We're here to find out what it tastes like. But the drying process is just to get a better texture in the meat because it's just so wet and moist. We're here to find out what it tastes like. It's hair bleach and Stilton. Is it its incredible soft gait, tölt? This crust is removed before the shark is enjoyed. It’s Iceland’s infamous national dish with quite the notorious reputation for testing even the most adventurous of stomachs. Now it changes a little bit to maybe a little like a licorice flavor. But I recommend to everybody, at least give it a try. So it's ammonia. It's also different after where the shark has been, and what depth, and what temperature he was caught. My grandfather bought this boat 1929, when he was 19 years old. And he has white meat. Do you see that? Something like that. For centuries Icelanders had to find ways to store food during long and cold winters. Guðjón: Yeah, and this one is then from, I would guess, 4 meters. The traditional Icelandic method of fermentation is to first gut and behead the beast, second is to place it in a shallow hole which has been dug in gravelly sand. You can taste the smell of it. Right. Due to its rich ammonia concentration, eating its fresh meat could even lead to death. Two sharks who arrive here together, they go through the process together. The boat's name is Síldin, which is "herring" in English. And they could feel when the shark was testing the bait. Shark has been involved with my family for 600 years, I guess. Fermented shark, called Hákarl, is a … Guðjón: The ammonia is, the liquid here is, that's fine. The Greenland shark, he has much more water in him than other fishes, or other sharks. Please be informed the office will be closed on December 24th - 27th, 31st and 1st of January 2021 due to Holiday season. Spending time traveling you often spend much of your money of food especially when traveling to Iceland. Ju: So what exactly does it take to make it safe to eat? So there was big waste of meat. And it's been done by one family in this area for hundreds of years. So, this is how that's, that's much, much thicker pieces. We love skyr. When the chef here says that he specializes in Icelandic specialties, he means it. One way to know if you are being offered a fermented shark … Hakarl is a shark that is fermented and then dried out over several months, and is a national dish of Iceland. How big is a shark? In a recent interview with Time Magazine Anthony is asked what foods he would never again taste, one of the items Anthony mentioned was Icelandic fermented shark, along with Namibian warthog rectum. It is like sandpaper, yeah. But here in the west of Iceland, it is a regional delicacy. Yeah, like hair dye. Guðjón: Here we have a piece of the fillet. If you are interested in witnessing the preparation of “. Guðjón Hildibrandsson: The Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. The different depth and what chemicals are high or low in. I was gonna say, it actually doesn't, it's, the aftertaste is kicking in now, yeah. And then the aftertaste. How much is too much to put in here? Read more: Iceland’s Ark of Taste: some of the flavours will seriously challenge your tastebuds. And these points, if you look closely, you see the points in the skin. That was before refrigerators and modern technology. Get top travel stories & special offers to your inbox, The fermentation of shark meat can be traced back to the Viking age but this outlandish act of preserving food was just one of the many steps Icelanders took to make sure they had enough to go on throughout the year. Ju: I mean, I think that my tongue's just used to this now. Guðjón: Yeah. Ju: Want it even stronger? In terms of flavour, it tends to be described with all the very worst words you can use for something edible. And the Greenland shark is a deep-ocean, cold-ocean shark. Guðjón: It's good. It's named after the milk product, skyr. And this is so healthy that you can't eat too much. There's no smoking. And is first registered 1860. Fermented shark, Hákarl, or rotten shark as people often refer to it is quite possibly the most famous dish in Iceland. This is just all my life. FERMENTED ROTTEN SHARK. Greenland shark is fermented for up to 12 weeks, and then hung out to dry for several months, resulting in what can only be described as a full assault on the senses. Some people say “it is the single most disgusting thing” they have ever tried then try it again and the more they try the more their taste buds get used to it and they end up really enjoying it. Ju: Sorry, guys, like, really prepare yourselves. Iceland can be quite an expensive place but there is a way to do it on a more cheaper matter. [both laugh] Great, I will not be taking a bite of that. Just shark, shark, shark. 3. What makes the Icelandic Viking horse unique? After the process, they taste similar, but not the same. Guðjón: So this can stay here for some while longer. And here the meat is ready to eat. Do you ever get over that? So, would you recommend eat it before smelling it? [Ju laughs] And then you're gonna explain the smell you feel. And this used to be called, in Iceland, svarti dauði, or which would be black death. It's like, you know when these people have really terrible, like, 1970s walls, where they, yeah. But, after all, what does one expect when consuming rotting, dried, fermented shark flesh? Ju: What happens to the ammonia when it drains? Serving those who crave all things Icelandic. There's always air around him. They grow in one direction. The truth is, locals eat foods like fermented shark meat (Kæstur hákarl), sour ram’s testicles (Súrir hrútspungar) and boiled (sometimes cured) sheep’s head (Svið) typically only during a mid-winter Þorrablót feast. Guðjón: Yeah, yeah, yeah. [both laugh] But yeah, this is really rough. Will I go blind, or...? Is that quite a common thing? Shark gives your taste-buds a slight slap and could maybe be compared to some of the more pungent cheeses you can get, while skata is a full-scale assault that can – literally – leave you crying. And then it's actually, like, stinging my tongue, stinging the back of my tongue. since. Today, this is eaten like a snack for special occasions. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. Let's find out! Founded in 1998 as mail order shop and online since 2001 nammi.is has long enabled online shoppers to shop Icelandic items online. The thinner pieces, after the process, the meat becomes sort of red or brown. Ju: What would happen if I took a bite of that now? Now we buy them from these big trawling boats, who catch the shark accidentally. And it also works like, gives him a little bit more insulation in a cold ocean. 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