So he's got somewhere around, I don't know, 4,000 set of teeth over his lifetime, or more. I won't, though, but. But the drying process is just to get a better texture in the meat because it's just so wet and moist. Ju: Oh, wow. And then we have the fillet. In an interview with Time Magazine Anthony was asked what foods he would never again taste. And, you see here, they're always growing a new set of teeth here. Ju: Oh, yeah, yeah. But here in the west of Iceland, it is a regional delicacy. 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. One shark will give from 30 to 40 pieces of fillet. If you are interested in witnessing the preparation of “kæstur hákarl” you can do so at the Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum on Snæfellsnes Peninsula. At first it was the smell, then the taste. Ju: So what exactly does it take to make it safe to eat? Ju: It's the meatiest fish I've ever seen, yeah. However, some still consider it a delicacy and will go through real lengths in order to get their hands on some proper good “hákarl”. They grow in one direction. It's also different after where the shark has been, and what depth, and what temperature he was caught. So, oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. [both laugh] Great, I will not be taking a bite of that. So, you let it stay there for maybe 20 seconds. Eurovision Movie: 5 Iceland References You Might Have Missed, Iceland Ranks First on Children’s Rights Index. Guðjón: So, the Greenland shark, he lives so deep that he's not in our swimming waters. Guðjón: Today this is called Brennivín, which would be translated in English like a burning wine. We're here to find out what it tastes like. I was gonna say, it actually doesn't, it's, the aftertaste is kicking in now, yeah. So Icelanders, they first started fishing them for the liver. Ju: It's just, yeah. The Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. . It's amazing, though, how much of it is in the smell. It's the best. And this was maybe 100 meters down. There's no smoking. 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. Ju: Yeah, it's like sandpaper. And the Greenland shark is, usually he's from 3 meters till maybe 5 meters long. But it's that really kind of, like, rich Stilton cheese, like, hits the back of your tongue. And airplane food. You should. Hákarl, or fermented shark, is a phenomenon that has gone way beyond the confines of the austere Icelandic winter. Guðjón: Yeah. The sharks are rarely caught intentionally, and instead the market for shark meat has emerged from accidental catch in other fisheries. Guðjón: And then you can also - this is like - it does not smell as intense as when we walked in. Ju: I mean, I think that my tongue's just used to this now. Guðjón: What's also good is to have a piece of the shark and piece of the rye bread, the Icelandic rye bread. Guðjón: I've been eating the shark since before I got teeth. However, some still consider it a delicacy and will go through real lengths in order to get their hands on some proper good “hákarl”. The Greenland shark, he has much more water in him than other fishes, or other sharks. Isolated in the North Atlantic, Iceland evolved unique culinary traditions since the time of the Viking colonizers. For centuries Icelanders had to find ways to store food during long and cold winters. Once you get over the ammonia-rich smell the taste really isn’t that bad. 17 Write a comment. Especially not if you have a shot of Brennivín liquor to wash down with it! [laughs]. I guess you just have to try! That's exactly how it tastes. And then death after that. What would happen to me? 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! How do you feel about that? We traveled to Bjarnarhöfn, Iceland where one family has been curing Greenland sharks for hundreds of years. Well, fermented shark is an Icelandic delicacy and one of the small Nordic island’s national foods. Ju: What is that doing in the scientific process of it? 109 It's hair bleach. Ju: What would happen if I took a bite of that now? So they start to tease him until the shark swallows the bait. So there is never nothing added to this meat in the process. Hákarl, or fermented shark, is a traditional Icelandic food dating back to the early days of Iceland’s Viking past. And it also works like, gives him a little bit more insulation in a cold ocean. Just shark, shark, shark. But, after all, what does one expect when consuming rotting, dried, fermented shark flesh? 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. 18 views. So, here we have the thinner pieces. Hákarl: Iceland's Buried, Rotten, Fermented & Dried Delicacy - WorldAtlas 26 Write a comment. Guðjón made me try some fermented shark cubes dipped in Icelandic schnapps. And under here we have the fillet. So, in these boxes, the meat loses about around 30%. Guðjón: Yeah. And this used to be called, in Iceland, svarti dauði, or which would be black death. But my family used to catch them and hunt them. Founded in 1998 as mail order shop and online since 2001 nammi.is has long enabled online shoppers to shop Icelandic items online. And it's very important that these boxes, they have these gaps on them so the liquid can leak from it. And these points, if you look closely, you see the points in the skin. For me, I kind of, I sort of miss it. And this is so healthy that you can't eat too much. And also for oxygen to get in, because the meat, it needs to breathe. I do actually, it's the texture now. 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. Is it that they grow up in open fields? Lastly,  there are those who love it from the start and simply can’t get enough. Ju: Yeah. Subscriber USD. Guðjón: And now you feel it, it's coming up in your nose. The taste of the Icelandic fermented shark is very smell-based. That's really licorice, yeah. And they used usually a seal meat or a seal fat for a bait for the hook. Súrir Hrútspungar (Sour Ram's Testicles) That brings us to ram's testicles, a tricky one to justify, no … Finding the small fish stall I asked for the fermented shark, and a little grin came over the face of the lady. But I recommend to everybody, at least give it a try. So total use of meat is around 8%. Today, mostly brave foreigners try the shark on a dare after a drunken night of partying into the wee hours in Reykjavik. We don't want it too hard, and not too mushy. And is first registered 1860. 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. Guðjón: It is strong. Guðjón: Yeah. And the meat is, it's more chewy and salty. At first it was just like chewing a piece of ham. And he changes his teeth around every three weeks. We're here to find out what it tastes like. But here in the west of Iceland, it is a regional delicacy. 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. There are chemical changes that are happening, that are making the meat untoxic. Because, if the matter is dissociated, the scent is what really makes it such a challenge to swallow. Now it's the texture, it's like, got into almost like a gelatinous kind of texture in my mouth. The third and last step is then to lay stones on top of the sand which is done in order to press the shark. Just go down the hatch? We met with Guðjón Hildibrandsson. Ju: No. So 400 years ago, probably accidentally, they discovered the process to use the meat. The shark does have a reputation internationally. That's really nice. Hákarl, or fermented shark meat, is one such dish. 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. Then a little bit more, you could probably go blind. Guðjón Hildibrandsson: The Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. 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 … Guðjón: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Fermented Shark, Rotten Shark Greenland sharks are the world’s longest-living vertebrates, often partially blind, and can grow up to 24 feet long. 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. There's no cooking. This one is not stiff enough. [Ju laughs] And then you're gonna explain the smell you feel. Guðjón: We are working with similar bacterias, like when you're doing cheese. But you see here, when I slice it open, that he still has this beautiful white color at the inside. Also, their meat is poisonous. From fishing to cube, the whole process takes six months. Even if you never become a fan the Icelandic Hákarl is something you will want to try when in Iceland. Now this is a chemical process and we are, there are a lot of interesting things that we are even still discovering. 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. We don't catch them ourselves, not anymore. Guðjón: So this can stay here for some while longer. In terms of flavour, it tends to be described with all the very worst words you can use for something edible. The preparation of “kæstur hákarl” is a time-consuming process as what follows after this curing period is the drying period. The Many Advantages of a Road Trip in Iceland. Ju: Yeah, the second one was the kicker, yeah. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. 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! 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. Most Icelandic restaurants will have it on the menu all year round for travelers and locals to try. Guðjón: Ammonia. Ju: It's just like, kind of feel it in my heart and my soul now. And the teeth, they grow up. So for the first 200 years, when they were fishing them, they had to throw the meat away. Fermented shark, Hákarl, or rotten shark as people often refer to it is quite possibly the most famous dish in Iceland. Do you see that? Ju Shardlow: Look up the list of the most misunderstood foods in the world, and fermented shark is probably on it. Ju: I can taste the ammonia kind of smell now. He's running his family business of shark curing here in Bjarnarhöfn. 3 Write a comment. And here the meat is ready to eat. This is very old. And then it's actually, like, stinging my tongue, stinging the back of my tongue. 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