This probably is the weirdest thing I’ve ever tried. Fermented shark. (still recovering from its memory) Back in 2019, on our trip to Iceland, (me & my spouse) discovered this local specialty in Reykjavik. I remember being super excited when we saw this in the menu of a cafe in city centre. We ordered it right away. The waiter seemed thrilled with our request. He came back in a few minutes with a miniature bowl of shark bites. (My first thought – too expensive for its size!). People sitting around us (both sides) started staring at our table.Their eyes were fixated on us. I wondered why this was such a big deal.
Then, I put that first nibble in my mouth and an explosion of ammonia filled my senses. I was overwhelmed with that strong, pungent taste. I kept struggling to keep chewing. My eyes rolled every time I bit a piece. I heard the laughter of our neighbours from both sides .They seemed to be enjoying the show. I realized then, why they’ve been staring all along. They expected this to happen. (what else do you think, a decomposed fish would taste like?)
The Greenland shark is fermented for close to six months under the sand, where it rots in its own ammonia & uric acid. It is then dried and chopped into small pieces. (ready to eat). All this effort, so one can eat a shark!(which otherwise would be too toxic to eat)
Alas! I swallowed that bite with a shot of liquor.(I was grateful that they served it along.) My taste buds were numb for the rest of the day. I was glad it was over. Never been thankful after a meal before.
I wonder how the Vikings cherished it! (Either the food was scarce or their taste buds were seriously destroyed) 🙄
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