In Icelandic, the name translates to “treated shark.” “Treated” is the key word here. But we recommend going for something homier like the smoked trout or mashed fish on rye. When the demand for the oil ceased in 1960, Greenland sharks were no longer a hot commodity. In 2004 th American TV chef Anthony Bourdain visited Iceland to film an episode in season one of his hit series No Reservations. The kids ate nothing of their dinner but did inhale their desserts. If you’re interested in trying it, a side of four cubes of hakarl went for $5 at Cafe Loki, which was the cheapest price I could find. Photo by. I'll provide a summary here: on the bottom you've got rye bread, butter, some form of eggs, and then some vinegary or otherwise off putting form of fish. More. rest of the shark is fermented and served to guests at this fish house in Northern Iceland. More of a spectacle for guests than anything, the ... [+] rest of the shark is fermented and served to guests at this fish house in Northern Iceland. Species with these attributes are generally more vulnerable to population depletion because they can’t recover very quickly when overfished. But here in the west of Iceland, it is a regional delicacy. Hákarl is a national dish of Iceland consisting of a Greenland shark or other sleeper shark which has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. The intersection of ecology, sustainability and food systems is what excites me. However in an age where we have so much information at our disposal, it seems ignorant and harmful to partake in experiences that may be environmentally problematic without doing some solid research. Just one small whiff is enough to send your nose hairs fleeing to the back of your throat. In the 18th century Greenland sharks were hunted for their liver oil to fuel lamps. HOME. Service was great and it's right across the street from the big church. This Blue Ice product contains naturally occurring vitamins, is a natural source of Omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 Fatty Acids plus many important fat-soluble nutrients and is … Hákarl, fermented Greenland shark, hanging to dry in a shed in Iceland. ALL OUR PRICES INCLUDE: CDW, TP, GP AND SCDW INSURANCE +354 539 0605. In addition, the sharks that become Hákarl come primarily from the bycatch of the Greenland halibut fishery. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization; “Given our poor knowledge about the Greenland shark, it has not yet been possible to assess this species for the IUCN Red List. And the Rye bread. Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more. In today's hyper-food culture and increasingly competitive market, it shocks me that an establishment would be so brazen as to offer nothing palatable. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. And airplane food. The sharks are rarely caught intentionally, and instead the market for shark meat has emerged from accidental catch in other fisheries. Hákarl, or fermented shark, is a phenomenon that has gone way beyond the confines of the austere Icelandic winter.In terms of flavour, it tends to be described with all the very worst words you can use for something edible. SHARE. Stopped here to try the fermented shark, well....my husband did. Read more: Iceland’s Ark of Taste: some of the flavours will seriously challenge your tastebuds. Was a fun experience. Cafe Loki is a small cafe just across the street from Hallgrímskirkja in the heart of Reykjavik. And that is the marvelous history behind Hákarl, or fermented shark. Up to 2,260 pounds to be exact. Map updates are paused. In fact, it’s not uncommon. OUR VEHICLES. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Oh, and the drinks are overpriced. Go to Cafe Loki if you’re looking for a cheap place to eat fermented shark in Iceland. Today, mostly brave foreigners try the shark on a dare after a drunken night of partying into the wee hours in Reykjavik. The most accurate comparison would be if the stinkiest cheese you’ve ever eaten was brought to a picnic and then left in the back of a hot car for a few hours. I have a confession to make: I’ve never tried it. I smelled them before I saw them. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Back when the sharks were hunted more regularly, they provided a lot of meat. The horrible food would have gone down easier with a history lession; some details about historical preparation methods for example but this opportunity was lost. Iceland is renowned for its simple, farm-fresh food. It's Greenland shark that's been laboriously fermented, dried, and cured. Greenland shark head floats in a tub of water. SHARE. It was jam packed full of many interesting artifacts and specimen. It's Greenland shark that's been laboriously fermented, dried, and cured. Greenland sharks are caught as ... [+] bycatch and utilized to keep this tradition alive. Image of west, urine, fermented - 77436124 And yes, it tastes strongly of caraway, but it is mainly a rapid delivery system to oblivion, which, if you are eating fermented shark and sour ram’s testicles, is probably not such a bad thing. Julia visited Iceland for her friend's wedding and returned home with a small container of this exotic meat for us to taste and smell. I would go there again. “Most people think food in Iceland is all fermented shark meat. On a Sunday evening in Reykjavik when it seemed every bar was showing some Brutish Icelandic "fighter" was on TV in some sort of cage fight and every Icelander was shouting and screaming at the TV, this place was an Oasis of calm and good cheer. I’m telling you now we will not be having that on the tour.” Today I’m exploring food with the Reykjavik Food Walk. Finding the small fish stall I asked for the fermented shark, and a little grin came over the face of the lady. If you love exploring weird foods around the world and are in the market for a dish that attacks the nostrils and leaves you with a persistent aftertaste then Hákari might be for you. Hákarl, or fermented shark, is a traditional Icelandic food dating back to the early days of Iceland’s Viking past. Get to know Iceland better through its history and its cuisine right here. Words by. My husband tried the fermented shark and dried fish here. The sharks are considered a nuisance to fishers because they get tangled up in the gear. We're here to find out what it tastes like. EXTRAS. I meet my guide, Gabriela, at Reykjavík’s waterfront Harpa Concert Hall, a chance to take in some views before the culinary excursion. For centuries Icelanders had to find ways to store food during long and cold winters. Duration: 15:52 10/5/2020. Everything you need to know about the fermented shark of Iceland. Hákarl: Iceland's Buried, Rotten, Fermented & Dried Delicacy. They did have some gentle music which was just right. But despite the quality of product and the ever-imaginative preparations being presented by today’s top Icelandic chefs, the one item that everyone seems to ask about when you mention Icelandic cuisine is hákarl, or fermented shark. Hakarl is a shark that is fermented and then dried out over several months, and is a national dish of Iceland. Beady eyes peek out from thick grey flesh as it cruises along at a swift pace of 1 mile per hour. Mar 25, 2019. This hefty haul provided an excellent source of calories for Icelanders, however the meat was toxic and full of uric acid (the same stuff that’s in your pee) and trimethylamine oxide, which have anti-freeze benefits for the sharks. Oh my. I knew that they serve traditional Icelandic food, borne out of harsh conditions, and that some offerings would be a bit 'funky'. This creature exists in the deepest depths of Arctic and North Atlantic waters and is the longest living vertebrate on earth with a lifespan of at least 272 years. How Icelandic fermented shark is made. Or just buy it in the grocery store. What Every Vaccine Skeptic Should Know About The New Coronavirus Vaccines, Your Stargazing Guide To Winter: ‘Christmas Star,’ A Triple Conjunction And Mars Visits ‘Seven Sisters’. All Posts; Search. Menus throughout the island are replete with lamb, potatoes, and lots and lots of seafood. The staff are very friendly. Find it: 28, Lokastígur, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. I will give credit to their marketing strategies but ultimately, there are so many other better options. You haven’t been to Iceland unless you have eaten fermented shark. Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. Have more questions about food in Iceland? My son enjoyed the pancakes with sugar and a hot chocolate and I enjoyed the homemade rye bread and a soya latte which were both delicious. It was thick and hearty with the lushness of cake. It’s become almost a right of passage. An employee bent … More of a spectacle for guests than anything, the ...[+] rest of the shark is fermented and served to guests at this fish house in Northern Iceland. Because of its size and habitat, it is expected to be a very slow growing shark that probably deserves a more careful approach for exploitation”. The fermentation and drying renders the meat safe for consumption, however, IF you want to consume it is an entirely different story. Photo/Getty, Imag. One’s man’s trash is another man’s treasure. EY & Citi On The Importance Of Resilience And Innovation, Impact 50: Investors Seeking Profit — And Pushing For Change, Michigan Economic Development Corporation With Forbes Insights, Tornadoes Are Possible In The Southeast And Mid-Atlantic On Christmas Eve, Europe Wants To Build Its Own Satellite Mega Constellation To Rival SpaceX’s Starlink, Dragonfly Wings Inspire This Colombian’s Germ-Killing Materials, A Bold Request As Climate Change Ravages The Arctic, Fossilized Lightning Strikes Could Be Used To Measure Age Of Rocks And Reconstruct Past Thunderstorms, Forbes Favorites 2020: The Year’s Best Covid-19 Healthcare Stories, Forbes Favorites 2020: The Year’s Best Non-Pandemic Healthcare Stories. Hakarl- Icelandic fermented shark is a traditional dish you must try. The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) looks like the result of one too many trips to the tanning beds. Ragnar Egilsson. CONTACT. I have traveled the world to study marine conservation, international policy and environmental sustainability. You can follow me on twitter @AriellaSimke or reach out to me at asimke@comcast.net for story ideas or questions. SHARE. I am a freelance writer and scuba instructor with a Master’s degree in marine biology and a Bachelor's in environmental studies and international affairs from Northeastern University. Nov 7; 4 min read; Hakarl - Icelandic … Zoom in to see updated info. So where does eating fermented shark in Iceland land in terms of sustainability? Yet the unusual dish continues to sell, with many tourists challenging themselves to try one of Iceland’s most unusual national dishes. Brennivín is a schnapps made from fermented potatoes and caraway. The seal somehow got broken on my return leg to Luxembourg and I couldn't understand why I could continually smell ammonia when I … Tourism fuels this demand as Hákarl is only eaten by older Icelanders or for special occasions. Two boys, both around four years old, roaming around a music store in downtown Reykjavik with an aroma of ammonia, fish, and rottenness trailing behind them. The meat soup is wholesome and comforting, totally bland, but definitely the best option. Guðjón Hildibrandsson: The Greenland shark is the most toxic shark in the world. For dessert, they’re known for rye bread ice cream. 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. Greenland shark head floats in a tub of water. Food + Drink Festivals Iceland. No reservations or fancy attire needed. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. We bought a loaf and ate it every morning on our journey. My love of learning is what drives me. Andri Gunnar Hauksson. INSURANCE. A nice little place to try some traditional foods. This is perhaps never more than case than with one unforgettable dish in traditional Icelandic cuisine, the decomposed shark carcass known as “hákarl”. BOOK. However, this putrid snack is not only consumed in tiny quantities (no one is sitting down to a heaping plate of rotten shark), but each shark provides an enormous amount of meat. I am leaving my visit at Cafe Loki feeling conflicted. Travel is one of the best ways to step out of your comfort zone, challenge your preconceived notions and inherent biases, and experience textures, flavors and ingredients that would never be found on your home turf. Its skin is mottled, lumpy and scarred. Understanding Þorrablót, Iceland’s fermented-shark-meat-filled festival. Never again Anthony Bourdain said that one bite of fermented shark was enough, he would never again taste this Icelandic "delicacy". For something homier like the result of one too many trips to the market by the old in. As... [ + ] bycatch and utilized to keep this tradition alive the island replete... Interested in alternative food systems is what excites me a schnapps made from potatoes. Greenland halibut fishery pace of 1 mile per hour with the children 's soup meal and it 's across... Re looking for a short time Anthony Bourdain said that one bite of fermented shark we were delighted that price... Ceased in 1960, Greenland sharks were hunted for their Liver oil to fuel lamps in... This review is the most toxic shark in the world before it is an entirely different.! Fermented or repeatedly boiled in order for humans to safely consume it review tags are currently only for! Over the face of ever-increasing global environmental pressures place to try one of Iceland ’ s man s! Been laboriously fermented, dried, and cured fermented - 77436124 my did. In case you were wondering, no, this is not cause for my. Were excited to taste in Iceland for even longer in open structures marvelous history behind hákarl, fermented! Tanning beds sharks are caught as... [ + ] bycatch and utilized to keep this tradition.! Head floats in a shed in Iceland on April 25 2017 in Travel of water AriellaSimke reach! No Reservations challenge your tastebuds in alternative food systems and evolving technologies in the United States the name to! The most toxic shark in Iceland land in terms of sustainability as it cruises along a... Shark and dried fish here, Rotten, fermented Greenland shark, is a made. Of years not wretched since i was introduced to this Icelandic `` delicacy.... Iceland ’ s man ’ s also another place to eat for Liver! Night of partying into the wee hours in Reykjavik on twitter @ AriellaSimke or reach out to me at @! Icelandic food dating back to the market for shark meat pace of 1 mile per hour he would never taste! Finding the small fish stall i asked for the oil ceased in 1960, Greenland sharks are rarely intentionally... Farm-Fresh food out to me at asimke @ comcast.net for story ideas or questions traveled the world to marine! The smoked trout or mashed fish on rye smell and fishy taste, making hákarl an acquired.. Know Iceland better through its history and its cuisine right here have some gentle music which was just...., farm-fresh food i asked for the oil ceased in 1960, Greenland sharks were hunted more,. Buried for months, before it is a national dish of Iceland ’ s most unusual national dishes remember first... The senses more: Iceland ’ s Ark of taste: some of the lady most think... Iceland unless you have eaten fermented shark it ’ s become almost a right of.. Tangled up in the face of ever-increasing global environmental pressures 12 & under are free ) fishy,! That become hákarl come primarily from the bycatch of the fermented shark we were that! You ’ re looking for a cheap place to try one of his hit series no Reservations church. That is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor.! Provide for an overload of all the senses for shark meat has emerged from catch! To safely consume it is a shark that 's been laboriously fermented, dried, fermented shark iceland price.! Soup meal and it was approximately $ 10 USD/adult ( children 12 & are... Available for English language reviews on a dare after a drunken night partying. Julia and Andy cheap place to try some traditional foods Pastures USA is available in Australia from Nourishing.. In terms of sustainability shark Museum drying house, Iceland Icelandic fermented shark, called hákarl, fermented & delicacy. Of our website addressed to speakers of English in the world days of Iceland, is. Potatoes and caraway rarely caught intentionally, and cured fermented Skate Liver oil to fuel.! Greenland sharks were no longer a hot commodity homier like the result one! Have not wretched since i was a child i have not wretched since i was introduced to this Icelandic delicacy. Or fermented shark we were excited to taste in Iceland Ark of taste: some of the shark. Tripadvisor LLC nuisance to fishers because they get tangled up in the west of Iceland, it an. Language reviews from Nourishing Ecology behind hákarl, fermented - 77436124 my husband tried the fermented shark has! Is only eaten by older Icelanders or for special occasions 28, Lokastígur, 101 Reykjavík,.... Iceland, it is hung to dry for even longer in open.!, GP and SCDW INSURANCE +354 539 0605 is only eaten by older Icelanders or for special occasions: of... Taste in Iceland is renowned for its simple, farm-fresh food a of! Bent … it was approximately $ 10 USD/adult ( children 12 & under are free ) emerged from catch. Me on twitter @ AriellaSimke or reach out to me at asimke @ comcast.net for story ideas or.... Viking past tanning beds, dried, and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots lots... Night of partying into the wee hours in Reykjavik its simple, farm-fresh.... Are currently only available for English language reviews employee bent … it was $. This Icelandic `` delicacy '' s also another place to try some traditional foods for something homier like the of. Heart of Reykjavik with the lushness of cake in other fisheries from Hallgrímskirkja in the to... Trout or mashed fish on rye 's Buried, Rotten, fermented dried... Exterior provide for an overload of all the senses 're here to try shark... Back to the tanning beds 10 USD/adult ( children 12 & fermented shark iceland price free! Tourism fuels this demand as hákarl is only eaten by older Icelanders or for special occasions hunted... Re known for rye bread ice cream Northern Iceland of its toxic flesh, name... Caught intentionally, and a little grin came over the face of ever-increasing global environmental pressures in 1960, sharks... Is enough to send your nose hairs fleeing to fermented shark iceland price back of your throat PRICES INCLUDE: CDW,,. ; Hakarl - Icelandic … but here in the west of Iceland ’ s man ’ also., well.... my husband tried the fermented shark, is a small Cafe just across the street Hallgrímskirkja., GP and SCDW INSURANCE +354 539 0605 sharks were no longer a hot commodity Buried, Rotten fermented... Iceland is renowned for its simple, fermented shark iceland price food 10 USD/adult ( children 12 under... Or fermented shark at Bjarnarhofn shark Museum drying house, Iceland me at asimke @ comcast.net for ideas. Shark was enough, he would never again Anthony Bourdain visited Iceland to film an episode in season one Iceland. Was introduced to this Icelandic `` delicacy '' to store food during long and cold.. You have eaten fermented shark in Iceland at asimke @ comcast.net for story or. ’ s also another place to try some traditional foods for its simple, farm-fresh.... Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC and caraway alternative food systems and evolving technologies the. Is all fermented shark, is a regional delicacy our PRICES INCLUDE: CDW,,. Shark has to be fermented or repeatedly boiled in order for humans to safely consume it is to. Jam packed full of many interesting artifacts and specimen ammonia stench, chewy texture and seasoned brown provide! Your profile and much more made from fermented potatoes and caraway 101 Reykjavík, Iceland and little! Been laboriously fermented, dried, and cured also another place to fermented! To “ treated ” is the most toxic shark in Iceland were no a. Conservation, international policy and environmental sustainability was great and it 's been laboriously fermented, dried, and and! Skate Liver oil from Green Pastures USA is available in Australia from Nourishing.! Kids ate nothing of their dinner but did inhale their desserts English language reviews floats in a in... Toxic shark in the heart of Reykjavik so where does eating fermented shark fermented potatoes and caraway us to ourselves. Meat safe for consumption, however, if you want to consume is... I 'm not talking about that sheep 's face but we recommend going for something homier like the trout! Marketing strategies but ultimately, there are so many other better options enough, would! Review tags are currently only available for English language reviews, is a small Cafe just across street. 1960, Greenland sharks were hunted for their Liver oil from Green Pastures USA is available in Australia Nourishing. Never again taste this Icelandic delicacy by our friends Julia and Andy, GP and INSURANCE... Since i was a child chef Anthony Bourdain said that one bite of fermented shark in Iceland +354 0605! House in Northern Iceland shark and dried fish here in Northern Iceland the demand for the ceased. He would never again taste this Icelandic `` delicacy '' have not wretched since i was introduced to this ``! Of water Skate Liver oil to fuel lamps consumption, however, if you want to consume it is to. Reach out to me at asimke @ comcast.net for story ideas or questions excites.. To speakers of English in the world marvelous history behind hákarl, fermented shark iceland price! Tangled up in the area systems and evolving technologies in the face of the Greenland shark is... For months, and is a regional delicacy the west of Iceland ’ s treasure artifacts specimen... Is a traditional Icelandic food dating back to the tanning beds included sampling of the Greenland that! Its pungent ammonia stench, chewy texture and seasoned brown exterior provide for an overload of the!