Icelandic cuisine is not for wimps
Icelandic cuisine is not very diverse and rich. This is largely due to the fact that the land is not too fertile and the climate is unfavorable. Therefore, from time immemorial Icelanders get out as they can - absolutely everything goes for food, they even get the feeling that they have no such thing as food waste.
We picked up 15 dishes of national Icelandic cuisine, some of which, perhaps, only real Vikings can eat.
Haucarle - rotten meat of the Greenland polar shark
Fresh meat of these sharks is poisonous - there is a huge concentration of ammonia in it, since this type of shark has no urinary tract. That is why the haucarle has been preparing for a very long time to remove the poisonous urea. In fact, shark meat is placed in special containers with gravel, where it goes dead within 6-8 weeks. The meat reaches the desired condition, fading in fresh air for another 3-4 months. In total, the fish goes out about six months.
By the way, the characteristic smell persists in the finished product, although it does not reduce its popularity with the local population.
Saltiscourt - salted fish
In Iceland, one of the most used methods of preserving products is salting. The fish is completely covered in salt, which then dries its meat. Before cooking such a fish, let it lie in the water for several hours (or several days, depending on the size of the fish). Traditionally, such fish is simply boiled and served with potatoes and bread. Now Icelanders prefer to make salted fish in Spanish or Italian styles, with tomatoes and olives, for example.
Hangikyot - Smoked Lamb Meat
Festive dish, the name translates as "hanging meat." Meat is smoked on birch wood or with the addition of dried sheep manure. Then boiled and served hot or cold with peas, mashed potatoes and white sauce, an analogue of bechamel.
Gellur - Cod Reeds
If gellur cook, as, for example, shown in the photograph, in the oven, then it is very tasty. But usually gellur is simply boiled and served.
Gellur is often mistaken for fish tongues, but these are fleshy triangular muscles just below the tongue.
Hardfiskur - dried fish
Another popular dish among Icelanders and even foreigners is dried or dried fish, usually haddock or cod. Icelanders eat it with literally tons of butter, without which, to be honest, you cannot swallow it, because fish meat is very dry.
Icelandic rye bread is very popular in the country. It is dark in color and has a sweet aftertaste. Eat it with butter and fish or meat. One of the ways of its preparation is very curious - the finished dough is placed in a metal form and left for the day where the volcanoes heat the upper layers of the soil. This bread is also called volcanic.
Lundy is a dead end bird
Usually the meat is boiled in milk sauce or smoked. The dish is most popular on the Westman Islands, where there is a whole colony of these birds. There are a lot of dead ends in Iceland, like we have, for example, pigeons, so they eat them without a twinge of conscience.
Praise means whale oil. It is boiled and smoked in lactic acid. He was considered one of the main delicacies of the country, but now almost no one eats it.
Slatur - blood sausage or pudding
"Slatur" literally means "bloodshed." Slatur is made from sheep viscera, blood and fat.Sometimes blood pudding served with sweet rice pudding is a rather strange combination.
Svid - lamb head
A whole lamb head is pre-cleaned of hair and brains, boiled and sometimes kept in lactic acid. Absolutely everything is eaten in this dish, even the eyes. The most delicious parts are cheeks and tongue.
Hrutspungur - eggs of young lamb
It is a delicacy in Iceland, although now almost no one eats it, except on holidays. The emergence of this dish due to the fact that once Iceland was a poor country and farmers used everything they could. Eggs are first pickled, and then pressed into cookies or filled with gelatin.
Ice whale is eaten in Iceland (a type of whale that is not threatened with extinction). They make steaks, kebabs or eat it raw with wasabi and soy sauce from whale meat. To taste - something in between tuna and beef.
Kiotsupa - meat soup
Traditional meat soup is made from lamb, potatoes, carrots, onions and turnips. They say a very tasty dish.
Maybe not a traditional dish, but very popular among Icelanders and foreigners.Skir is a low-fat dairy product that resembles a bit of yogurt, although it is not. A lot of desserts are made on the basis of thick skira.
Brennwin - "black death"
And finally, the popular alcoholic drink Brennivin. It is translated as “burnt wine”, made from potatoes and cumin seeds. Icelanders themselves call it nothing but the “black death”.
By the way, the price of alcohol in Iceland is very high. You can buy a glass of wine or beer in restaurants, bars and state stores, but for alcohol you will have to pay a fortune.