Ju: Oh, yeah, there's some more resistance one way. Heading to the market by the old harbour in Reykjavik (the capital), I prepared myself. Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. USD. Somehow, out of all the delicious and fresh ingredients Iceland has to offer and the organically greenhouse-grown vegetables and fruits this peculiar phenomenon became the token food for our beloved country. My grandfather bought this boat 1929, when he was 19 years old. 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. [laughs]. Now it's the texture, it's like, got into almost like a gelatinous kind of texture in my mouth. The preparation of “kæstur hákarl” is a time-consuming process as what follows after this curing period is the drying period. People go in two parts, even Icelanders. I don't think that's ever gonna go away, maybe, but. 3. Guðjón: Ammonia. But I recommend to everybody, at least give it a try. And according to them, the shark is the healthiest food that is made in Iceland. Fermented shark, or hákarl in Icelandic, is (ironically) a Greenland shark that’s been buried and pressed under gravel and stone, then hung and cured for months, wherein it develops a scab-like crust. This one is not stiff enough. Something like that. This is very old. Ju: Yeah, that's what I'm getting at the moment. And the meat is, it's more chewy and salty. 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. Guðjón: Yeah. All About Hakarl Iceland's Fermented Shark. [both laugh]. I won't, though, but. Guðjón: And now you feel it, it's coming up in your nose. Please be informed the office will be closed on December 24th - 27th, 31st and 1st of January 2021 due to Holiday season. When the earliest Icelandic residents settled on … So, this part of the process, is this the most important part to get the taste of it, or the curing? Ju: It's just, yeah. Iceland can be quite an expensive place but there is a way to do it on a more cheaper matter. Not only because it is the most famous dish linked with the country but also because it is a fun activity to do with friends, family or even strangers you meet along the way. We're here to find out what it tastes like. Right. Is it that they grow up in open fields? It's supposed to be strong. And in Iceland and isolated areas, this was a big waste. The shark meat is fermented for 9 weeks before it is ready to eat and is traditionally eaten uncooked in little chunks. chef Gordon Ramsay challenged James May to sample three “delicacies” one of which was the Icelandic Hákarl. So 400 years ago, probably accidentally, they discovered the process to use the meat. It's also different after where the shark has been, and what depth, and what temperature he was caught. They couldn't use it. Fresh meat, you will get very sick. The late Television Host and Chef Anthony Bourdain described Hákarl as “, the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing, Archaeologist Neil Oliver tasted Hákarl on Vikings, a BBC documentary as part of examining the Viking diet. Hákarl: Iceland's Buried, Rotten, Fermented & Dried Delicacy - WorldAtlas It's like eating bread to you now? If you are interested in witnessing the preparation of “. So there is never nothing added to this meat in the process. This is just all my life. 'Cause it's poisonous when it's fresh? We don't catch them ourselves, not anymore. Here you see the skin. Eurovision Movie: 5 Iceland References You Might Have Missed, Iceland Ranks First on Children’s Rights Index. Ju Shardlow: Look up the list of the most misunderstood foods in the world, and fermented shark is probably on it. Guðjón: I've been eating the shark since before I got teeth. Do you ever get over that? So Icelanders, they first started fishing them for the liver. Ju: Skál, OK. Mm. The now cleaned cavity is then rested on a small mound of sand and the shark later covered with sand and gravel. 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. Hakarl was first carefully prepared by the Vikings, who knew that the meat of the Greenlandic shark is poisonous to humans without careful preparation. It’s become almost a right of passage. However, some still consider it a delicacy and will go through real lengths in order to get their hands on some proper good “hákarl”. Guðjón: Yeah, and this one is then from, I would guess, 4 meters. But I know good shark from a bad one. It is the, not even amount of ammonia maybe in them, or salt, or other chemicals that are different. Ju: Yeah. Guðjón: This is my grandfather's shark-fishing boat. That's really nice. We could drink it. There’s no denying Iceland is known for having some pretty atypical dishes, at least to many visitors. And in the drying, the piece, it gets this dried crust around it. And this is his lower jaw. 26 Write a comment. Guðjón: Everything you feel is probably 10 times more than what I feel. And no, I'm not talking about that sheep's face. Guðjón: Here we have a piece of the fillet. Guðjón: This boat is around 8 meters. Fermented shark, called Hákarl, is a … Somehow, out of all the delicious and fresh ingredients Iceland has to offer and the organically greenhouse-grown vegetables and fruits this peculiar phenomenon became the token food for our beloved country. Yeah, like hair dye. since. The shark basically releases urine through its bloodstream and tissues which is considered a very primitive way to dispense. Hakarl is a shark that is fermented and then dried out over several months, and is a national dish of Iceland. But before, this was eaten, like, with a meal, like, for something extra. Due to its rich ammonia concentration, eating its fresh meat could even lead to death. This is not for everybody. I'm a shark convert. Now the shark is left to dry for about 6-18 weeks depending on the season in which this course is taken. Water, there is a lot of water in the meat. It's the best. And this is his skin. And it also works like, gives him a little bit more insulation in a cold ocean. The third and last step is then to lay stones on top of the sand which is done in order to press the shark. Fermented shark, Hákarl, or rotten shark as people often refer to it is quite possibly the most famous dish in Iceland. Then a little bit more, you could probably go blind. I think it's because I've just, like, masticated it so much in my mouth that it's just, there we go, I got over it. Guðjón: The ammonia is, the liquid here is, that's fine. And here the meat is ready to eat. We met with Guðjón Hildibrandsson. It makes the meat not toxic. Isolated in the North Atlantic, Iceland evolved unique culinary traditions since the time of the Viking colonizers. Hákarl, or fermented shark meat, is one such dish. And airplane food. Shark bodies are hung up for months to ferment, and then cut up into little bits and served without cooking. And the Greenland shark is a deep-ocean, cold-ocean shark. These dishes can be traced back to the revival of the festival in the 1950s. That is very interesting. He has white meat. It's hair bleach. The fish bones are gelatinous, and the smell is reminiscent of what you’d find in a chlorinated pool, but for many Icelanders, fermented skate is … How big is a shark? After the process, they taste similar, but not the same. You know. So, this is how that's, that's much, much thicker pieces. So, this is just, like, all my life. Ju: Yeah. And the teeth, they grow up. Guðjón: The second one was also a little bit bigger. I've been doing the curing process probably since I was 10. However, some still consider it a delicacy and will go through real lengths in order to get their hands on some proper good “hákarl”. Ju: All right, I'm just gonna try to chew this a bit. So, in these boxes, the meat loses about around 30%. So, you let it stay there for maybe 20 seconds. And then he had been working on this boat at least since he was 14. Is it its incredible soft gait, tölt? 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. And we call that glerhákarl. Founded in 1998 as mail order shop and online since 2001 nammi.is has long enabled online shoppers to shop Icelandic items online. Then it's doing what we want it to do. Will I go blind, or...? Is that quite a common thing? [both laugh] Great, I will not be taking a bite of that. So, here we have the thinner pieces. Hakarl - Icelandic fermented shark is indeed one of the most typical food you should try. He does not have a fat layer. It's named after the milk product, skyr. The sharks are rarely caught intentionally, and instead the market for shark meat has emerged from accidental catch in other fisheries. How do you feel about that? This is from maybe 5-meter-long shark. The different depth and what chemicals are high or low in. Shark has been involved with my family for 600 years, I guess. The boat's name is Síldin, which is "herring" in English. Due to its rich ammonia concentration, eating its fresh meat could even lead to death. © Copyright 2020. Getting that post-Iceland blues is a common thing. And then we have this one here. So he's got somewhere around, I don't know, 4,000 set of teeth over his lifetime, or more. Following is a transcript of the video. And we make these handles in the skin for grabbing them, lifting them up, hanging them up. And it's been done by one family in this area for hundreds of years. Now we buy them from these big trawling boats, who catch the shark accidentally. Hákarl: Iceland’s Rancid Fermented Shark Delicacy Hákarl is an Icelandic delicacy of fermented Greenland shark meat that gives off one hell of a pungent odor! The meat ferments for six to nine weeks in the wooden boxes, then it's hung outside for six months to fully dry out. This is one of the places where you can regularly sample hakarl, fermented shark. 18 views. And then I'll have one also. We're here to find out what it tastes like. You can taste the smell of it. It's amazing, though, how much of it is in the smell. And this is so healthy that you can't eat too much. 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. And then, like, you know, the texture of it in your mouth. Especially not if you have a shot of Brennivín liquor to wash down with it! The shark does have a reputation internationally. 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 hard to say beforehand about which group you will find yourself in. Basically it is rotten shark. Do you see that? There are chemical changes that are happening, that are making the meat untoxic. That was before refrigerators and modern technology. Iceland is famous for fresh fish and our delicious lamb that roams free during the summer. Ju: Sorry, guys, like, really prepare yourselves. Subscriber Guðjón: Yeah. At first it was the smell, then the taste. Oh, wow. And it's very important to have the skin on, because the meat, it's so loose itself that if it's no skin, then the meat just basically stretch. It tastes much better than it smells. So it loses a lot of weight here. Hákarl, or fermented shark, is a phenomenon that has gone way beyond the confines of the austere Icelandic winter. Hákarl, or fermented shark, is a traditional Icelandic food dating back to the early days of Iceland’s Viking past. And the Greenland shark is, usually he's from 3 meters till maybe 5 meters long. FERMENTED ROTTEN SHARK. Just like we are marinating the shark. After this, you can eat it. And under here we have the fillet. Make the Tamarind-Fish-Chili Sauce and mix in the Hákarl (Icelandic Fermented Shark Meat) until all the meat has been coated. So total use of meat is around 8%. He's running his family business of shark curing here in Bjarnarhöfn. Now it changes a little bit to maybe a little like a licorice flavor. Ju: I mean, this is a big boat. We've sent you an email to confirm your subscription. And then you take this here. But here in the west of Iceland, it is a regional delicacy. Ju: Yeah, it's like sandpaper. It's Greenland shark that's been laboriously fermented, dried, and cured. In Iceland, that dish is hakarl, or fermented shark meat. Guðjón: It is strong. 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. There's always air around him. Find out all about it! If you are interested in witnessing the preparation of “kæstur hákarl” you can do so at the Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum on Snæfellsnes Peninsula. And he has white meat. Or you can simply purchase the product at a local grocery store or at Kolaportið flea market during the weekend and taste in a setting of your choosing. Guðjón Hildibrandsson: The Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. 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. Just go for it! Ju: Do you know what it is? It was an accident. We want it to give us, like, a kick. Most Icelandic restaurants will have it on the menu all year round for travelers and locals to try. Account active If you are sensitive to strong smell you are more likely to dislike the shark but if you are a fan of strong cheese, for example, and don’t mind the smell you might just fall into the latter category. Or that they have been purely bread since the Vikings brought them? For me, I kind of, I sort of miss it. Either you like it, or you don't. Ju: Yeah, the second one was the kicker, yeah. Guðjón: And so these points, they grow down with his body. The Greenland shark, he has much more water in him than other fishes, or other sharks. The meat is first fermented in cold storage rooms, like this one. A short list of what you can expect to see: fermented shark, boiled sheep head, liver sausage, sour ram testicles, smoked lamb, dry fish, and plenty of local beer and liquor. 109 So there was big waste of meat. And then, if I... you see how smoothly it cuts. Ju Shardlow: Look up the list of the most misunderstood foods in the world, and fermented shark is probably on it.But here in the west of Iceland… And this was maybe 100 meters down. Especially not if you have a shot of Brennivín liquor to wash down with it! Guðjón: It's good. Just shark, shark, shark. Finding the small fish stall I asked for the fermented shark, and a little grin came over the face of the lady. Add more chili pepper if interested. 2. Though it is a dish not many could bring themselves to sample, hakarl is a meal rooted in history and tradition. Ju: I can taste the ammonia kind of smell now. First, people didn't know this was a chemical process. USD, Jet Boat up Gullfoss Canyon & Taste Local Craft Beer, 126 And then in the drying process, it loses, like, 50, 70%. Today, this is eaten like a snack for special occasions. But you see here, when I slice it open, that he still has this beautiful white color at the inside. 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. It is like sandpaper, yeah. The thinner pieces, after the process, the meat becomes sort of red or brown. Guðjón: So this can stay here for some while longer. Once you get over the ammonia-rich smell the taste really isn’t that bad. And then we have the fillet. So he needs more time, but these here are ready. 17 Write a comment. Guðjón: To know if it's ready, we check the texture. It’s Iceland’s infamous national dish with quite the notorious reputation for testing even the most adventurous of stomachs. What is the liquid that's coming off, then? So that's why they don't taste the same. [Ju laughs] And then you're gonna explain the smell you feel. [both laugh] But yeah, this is really rough. Ju: It's, um, I dye my hair, and it's literally like bleach. Guðjón: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Ju: It's the meatiest fish I've ever seen, yeah. The food in Iceland is excellent, superb even so you will have plenty of other opportunities to try some tasty things. But here in the west of Iceland, it is a regional delicacy. You can stroke the skin one way, but it's harder to stroke it the other. For centuries Icelanders had to find ways to store food during long and cold winters. In addition to airline food he lists Icelandic fermented shark as the most disgusting thing he had ever tasted, alongside Namibian warthog rectum. 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