Letting loose on a holiday is the perfect opportunity to start testing your taste buds. You can often find weird and wonderful dishes everywhere you go, but if you’re off to Iceland, read this as a little head start so you know exactly what to look for.
If you’re a meat-lover at home, then there’s no harm in chomping down on a nice sheep’s head on your holidays. Packed with flavour, meaty goodness and a massive tongue, the dish is one of the country’s delicacies. You’ll be glad to know that the head is burned before serving, so there’s no chewy gristle or bits of hair on your plate. Just a boiled head complete with all the facial features. Phew.
If lamb isn’t your thing, there’s also some fresh fish on the menu. Did I say fresh? Sorry, I meant rotten. Because Hakarl is a poisonous shark, the locals of Iceland leave it to rot for a good six weeks before they think about eating it. Then it’s left for another four months to dry. By then, as I’m sure you can imagine, the smell is more than a little pungent, and the shark is covered in mould. Thankfully, chefs are happy to scrape that off for you before it’s served.
To avoid any waste, Icelandic folk like to mash all their leftover bits and pieces together to make a wonderfully unique dish. Because the ingredients are never the same, Biximatur can end up having a variety of flavours. The meats are fried with potatoes and onions to add a little normality to the dish!
Still feeling hungry? No problem. Whale blubber makes for a great fishy treat. The fat is pickled in sour milk to make it less tough and stringy, however it still remains very oily. Because of the whaling debate, many places offer a more ‘politically-correct’ version that’s just made from other fish meat. You’re whale-come.
If you’re still feeling adventurous, there’s still a whole plethora of wacky foods to discover when you’re exploring the country. Challenge yourself and become a master of Icelandic cuisine!