This here, this is from my grandfather's shark-fishing set. The now cleaned cavity is then rested on a small mound of sand and the shark later covered with sand and gravel. Please be informed the office will be closed on December 24th - 27th, 31st and 1st of January 2021 due to Holiday season. It is the, not even amount of ammonia maybe in them, or salt, or other chemicals that are different. 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… The boat's name is Síldin, which is "herring" in English. Find out all about it! Just go for it! It is like sandpaper, yeah. And we call that glerhákarl. Is this your, I mean, this isn't your personal supply bottle. Lastly,  there are those who love it from the start and simply can’t get enough. Ju: Yeah, the second one was the kicker, yeah. And then he had been working on this boat at least since he was 14. Guðjón: This basically does everything. So there was big waste of meat. There's no smoking. 3 Write a comment. Because, if the matter is dissociated, the scent is what really makes it such a challenge to swallow. Guðjón: Yeah. I'm a shark convert. Hakarl - Icelandic fermented shark is indeed one of the most typical food you should try. Guðjón made me try some fermented shark cubes dipped in Icelandic schnapps. There’s no denying Iceland is known for having some pretty atypical dishes, at least to many visitors. Fermented Shark, Rotten Shark Greenland sharks are the world’s longest-living vertebrates, often partially blind, and can grow up to 24 feet long. Ju: Wow. Due to its rich ammonia concentration, eating its fresh meat could even lead to death. 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. I don't think that's ever gonna go away, maybe, but. Fresh meat, you will get very sick. And these points, if you look closely, you see the points in the skin. We met with Guðjón Hildibrandsson. But it's that really kind of, like, rich Stilton cheese, like, hits the back of your tongue. Guðjón: It is strong. This is very old. How big is a shark? You know. The Many Advantages of a Road Trip in Iceland. The sharks are rarely caught intentionally, and instead the market for shark meat has emerged from accidental catch in other fisheries. So there is never nothing added to this meat in the process. I guess you just have to try! That was before refrigerators and modern technology. What would happen to me? It's the best. One shark will give from 30 to 40 pieces of fillet. In an interview with Time Magazine Anthony was asked what foods he would never again taste. He's running his family business of shark curing here in Bjarnarhöfn. Oh, wow. It makes the meat not toxic. Basically it is rotten shark. Just shark, shark, shark. And it also works like, gives him a little bit more insulation in a cold ocean. It's Greenland shark that's been laboriously fermented, dried, and cured. Hakarl is a shark that is fermented and then dried out over several months, and is a national dish of Iceland. You should. Fresh meat, you will get very sick. Guðjón: Yeah. Though it is a dish not many could bring themselves to sample, hakarl is a meal rooted in history and tradition. Guðjón: Exactly. Iceland is famous for fresh fish and our delicious lamb that roams free during the summer. This is one of the places where you can regularly sample hakarl, fermented shark. The Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. However, some still consider it a delicacy and will go through real lengths in order to get their hands on some proper good “hákarl”. All rights reserved. 3. For some reason, the fermented rotten shark gets the most hype out of all the sour cuisines above. So, this is how that's, that's much, much thicker pieces. Ju: It's the meatiest fish I've ever seen, yeah. Now this is a chemical process and we are, there are a lot of interesting things that we are even still discovering. 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. We don't catch them ourselves, not anymore. USD, Jet Boat up Gullfoss Canyon & Taste Local Craft Beer, 126 Finding the small fish stall I asked for the fermented shark, and a little grin came over the face of the lady. And it's just at the sides of your tongue. 17 Write a comment. 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, called Hákarl, is a … And this is so healthy that you can't eat too much. The Top Tourist Attractions in Iceland . 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. You can stroke the skin one way, but it's harder to stroke it the other. 26 Write a comment. This jaw here, here you go. [both laugh] Great, I will not be taking a bite of that. It's preserved. It's like eating bread to you now? Fermented shark, Hákarl, or rotten shark as people often refer to it is quite possibly the most famous dish in Iceland. 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 … 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. Subscriber Now the shark is left to dry for about 6-18 weeks depending on the season in which this course is taken. Most Icelandic restaurants will have it on the menu all year round for travelers and locals to try. . Ju: No. That is very interesting. So total use of meat is around 8%. He has white meat. That's really licorice, yeah. Recent Posts See All. Due to its rich ammonia concentration, eating its fresh meat could even lead to death. So they start to tease him until the shark swallows the bait. And is first registered 1860. So Icelanders, they first started fishing them for the liver. I won't, though, but. Read more: Iceland’s Ark of Taste: some of the flavours will seriously challenge your tastebuds. Today, mostly brave foreigners try the shark on a dare after a drunken night of partying into the wee hours in Reykjavik. And the chain had to be at least 3 meters. © Copyright 2020. And then we have this one here. since. Iceland can be quite an expensive place but there is a way to do it on a more cheaper matter. Guðjón: Next, I'm gonna open it up, and you're going to put your head in it. The meat ferments for six to nine weeks in the wooden boxes, then it's hung outside for six months to fully dry out. These dishes can be traced back to the revival of the festival in the 1950s. There are chemical changes that are happening, that are making the meat untoxic. Is that quite a common thing? But here in the west of Iceland, it is a regional delicacy. And then you take this here. Especially not if you have a shot of Brennivín liquor to wash down with it! 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 in the drying, the piece, it gets this dried crust around it. 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. We traveled to Bjarnarhöfn, Iceland where one family has been curing Greenland sharks for hundreds of years. Ju: What happens to the ammonia when it drains? But my family used to catch them and hunt them. And then, if I... you see how smoothly it cuts. Even if you never become a fan the Icelandic Hákarl is something you will want to try when in Iceland. But I recommend to everybody, at least give it a try. It's hair bleach. They couldn't use it. One of those „delicacies“ and one of Iceland‘s national dishes is the fermented shark or kæstur hákarl, which we, of course, offer a taste of on our Reykjavik Food Lovers Tour for those who dare to try. So when he swims, he gets this sort of thin layer of air around him. Getting that post-Iceland blues is a common thing. Fermented shark, Hákarl, or rotten shark as people often refer to it is quite possibly the most famous dish in Iceland. What makes the Icelandic Viking horse unique? Ju: Yeah. It’s become something of a tourist favorite, a “you haven’t been to Iceland if you haven’t tried rotted shark” kind of thing. All About Hakarl Iceland's Fermented Shark. Ju: Yeah, that's what I'm getting at the moment. If you are interested in witnessing the preparation of “kæstur hákarl” you can do so at the Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum on Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Ju: I mean, this is a big boat. Showcasing how little the development of sharks has been over the last 300 million years. That stays white. 2. This is just all my life. Guðjón: What's also good is to have a piece of the shark and piece of the rye bread, the Icelandic rye bread. But I know good shark from a bad one. The meat is first fermented in cold storage rooms, like this one. Ju: Yeah, it's like sandpaper. And airplane food. Right. 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. Also, their meat is poisonous. But, after all, what does one expect when consuming rotting, dried, fermented shark flesh? A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. Ju: Skál, OK. Mm. 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. 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. Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. 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. Arctic Adventures. So, in these boxes, the meat loses about around 30%. And in Iceland and isolated areas, this was a big waste. It’s Iceland’s infamous national dish with quite the notorious reputation for testing even the most adventurous of stomachs. If you can't find it please check your spam folder. 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. Then it's doing what we want it to do. And this used to be called, in Iceland, svarti dauði, or which would be black death. 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. Water, there is a lot of water in the meat. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. [both laugh]. And they could feel when the shark was testing the bait. 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. 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. Heading to the market by the old harbour in Reykjavik (the capital), I prepared myself. Now it's the texture, it's like, got into almost like a gelatinous kind of texture in my mouth. While attempting to eat it, Ramsay spat it out, but May was able to keep his down and even offered to eat it again. 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. Now it changes a little bit to maybe a little like a licorice flavor. 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. Ju: OK, great. Today, this is eaten like a snack for special occasions. FERMENTED ROTTEN SHARK. And he changes his teeth around every three weeks. Serving those who crave all things Icelandic. For centuries Icelanders had to find ways to store food during long and cold winters. And then I'll have one also. 2. Guðjón: Yeah, and this one is then from, I would guess, 4 meters. And then it's actually, like, stinging my tongue, stinging the back of my tongue. This is from maybe 5-meter-long shark. The taste of the Icelandic fermented shark is very smell-based. Spinei explains that while she has tried fermented shark in Iceland, fermented skate has a much stronger flavor and is a difficult dish to enjoy for a non-native. And then in the drying process, it loses, like, 50, 70%. Súrir Hrútspungar (Sour Ram's Testicles) That brings us to ram's testicles, a tricky one to justify, no … This way fluids are better released from the shark the actual fermentation process is shortened. It's also different after where the shark has been, and what depth, and what temperature he was caught. It's supposed to be strong. USD. Guðjón: This is my grandfather's shark-fishing boat. My grandfather bought this boat 1929, when he was 19 years old. Especially not if you have a shot of Brennivín liquor to wash down with it! Here you see the skin. The Greenland shark, he has much more water in him than other fishes, or other sharks. [Ju laughs] And then you're gonna explain the smell you feel. He described it as reminiscent of “. 18 views. Either you like it, or you don't. But before, this was eaten, like, with a meal, like, for something extra. After this, you can eat it. There's always air around him. Guðjón: Today this is called Brennivín, which would be translated in English like a burning wine. And we make these handles in the skin for grabbing them, lifting them up, hanging them up. I was gonna say, it actually doesn't, it's, the aftertaste is kicking in now, yeah. Because, if the matter is, dissociated, the scent is what really makes it such a challenge to swallow. Guðjón: And so these points, they grow down with his body. Guðjón: Here we have a piece of the fillet. Guðjón: So this can stay here for some while longer. How do you feel about that? Guðjón: It's good. This one is not stiff enough. Ju: It's just like, kind of feel it in my heart and my soul now. It tastes much better than it smells. What is the liquid that's coming off, then? Ju: All right, I'm just gonna try to chew this a bit. 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. Once you get over the ammonia-rich smell the taste really isn’t that bad. Guðjón: We are working with similar bacterias, like when you're doing cheese. Ju: Yeah. 109 The craziest fact about the Icelandic Fermented Shark is that the Greenlands shark which is the prime meat used to produce it is actually poisonous while fresh! And then, of course, the shark on his own. Guðjón: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So he's got somewhere around, I don't know, 4,000 set of teeth over his lifetime, or more. chef Gordon Ramsay challenged James May to sample three “delicacies” one of which was the Icelandic Hákarl. Founded in 1998 as mail order shop and online since 2001 nammi.is has long enabled online shoppers to shop Icelandic items online. This period can last a few months and during this time the strips will develop a brown crust. I've been doing the curing process probably since I was 10. So it's ammonia. 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: I've been eating the shark since before I got teeth. Hákarl, or fermented shark meat, is one such dish. So 400 years ago, probably accidentally, they discovered the process to use the meat. Guðjón: The second one was also a little bit bigger. And the Greenland shark is, usually he's from 3 meters till maybe 5 meters long. Hákarl, or fermented shark, is a phenomenon that has gone way beyond the confines of the austere Icelandic winter. Often the shark was eaten, like, with the food that was, like, on the limit of being good or bad, or probably bad, because he helps the digestion. And it's been done by one family in this area for hundreds of years. Then a little bit more, you could probably go blind. You haven’t been to Iceland unless you have eaten fermented shark. In Iceland, that dish is hakarl, or fermented shark meat. The shark is at this point cut into pieces and hung to dry. It's amazing, though, how much of it is in the smell. So these are the thinner pieces. For me, I kind of, I sort of miss it. Add more chili pepper if interested. And these are all, like, good. And this is his lower jaw. One way to know if you are being offered a fermented shark … Ju: And these, I mean, would these hurt humans, or...? So, this part of the process, is this the most important part to get the taste of it, or the curing? It is hard to say beforehand about which group you will find yourself in. The fillet we call skyrhákarl. Let's find out! Guðjón: This boat is around 8 meters. It’s become almost a right of passage. And this was maybe 100 meters down. Shark bodies are hung up for months to ferment, and then cut up into little bits and served without cooking. Guðjón: The ammonia is, the liquid here is, that's fine. Ju Shardlow: Look up the list of the most misunderstood foods in the world, and fermented shark is probably on it. 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. The thinner pieces, after the process, the meat becomes sort of red or brown. Guðjón: So, the Greenland shark, he lives so deep that he's not in our swimming waters. Ju: What is that doing in the scientific process of it? We want it to give us, like, a kick. Guðjón: I'll have another one also. 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. Guðjón: And then you can also - this is like - it does not smell as intense as when we walked in. Following is a transcript of the video. And here the meat is ready to eat. And he has white meat. Do you see that? From fishing to cube, the whole process takes six months. It's hair bleach and Stilton. And the meat is, it's more chewy and salty. The food in Iceland is excellent, superb even so you will have plenty of other opportunities to try some tasty things. We could drink it. Guðjón Hildibrandsson: The Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. Ju: Want it even stronger? Just, it's just natural process, from the beginning till the end. 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