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Thread: The delights of Icelandic cuisine

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    The delights of Icelandic cuisine

    After a bit over four decades on this rock, I decided that enough is enough; I have to get a stamp in my passport. So, around late March, I'm going to drive to JFK, park the car, hop on a flight to Reykjavik, and spend a week around the Arctic Circle in beautiful Iceland. Okay ... technically that part of Iceland is still in North America, but culturally speaking, it's Europe. Besides, I can rent a car for a day, and cross the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, along with checking out some of the other Golden Circle attractions.

    Icelanders boast about everything in their country being "best i heimi" -- best in the world . After reading about their food, though, I gotta' ask "what the hell were they thinking?" It seems like Icelandic cuisine was the result of Vikings trying to one-up each other in a each other in a Saga-era Fear Factor-like contest of downing grossout foods. I stumbled across this page, which describes some of the culinary delights that await visitors to Iceland.

    Kćstur hákarl, putrefied Greenland shark
    Súrsađir hrútspungar, the testicles of rams pressed in blocks, boiled and cured in lactic acid.
    Sviđ, singed and boiled sheep heads, sometimes cured in lactic acid
    Sviđasulta, head cheese or brawn made from sviđ, sometimes cured in lactic acid
    Lifrarpylsa (liver sausage), a pudding made from liver and suet of sheep kneaded with rye flour and oats
    Blóđmör (blood-suet; also known as slátur, meaning slaughter), a type of blood pudding, which is made from lamb’s blood and suet, kneaded with rye flour and oats
    Harđfiskur, wind-dried fish (often cod, haddock or seawolf), served with butter
    Hangikjöt, (hung meat), smoked and boiled lamb or mutton, sometimes also eaten raw.
    Lundabaggi, sheep’s loins wrapped in the meat from the sides, pressed and cured in lactic acid
    Selshreifar, seal’s flippers cured in lactic acid
    Hákarl:





    Sviđ





    Have any Cyburbians ever tried Icelandic cuisine? Were you able to hold it down?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    It gets worse, Chief. The alternatives are drying up.

    I can't believe the average meal is puffin-spleen stew, or some soup based on regurgitated bovine cud. They MUST eat 'regular' food at least once in a while. I would dine at one of those places instead. Stay away from restaurants that are named after the organs of obscure animal.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Don't forget that Viking sense of humor. After all, they named the habitable land Iceland and the frozen tundra Greenland. Those Icelandic "delicacies" are probably for tourists while the residents chow down on filet mignon.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  4. #4
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Don't forget that Viking sense of humor. After all, they named the habitable land Iceland and the frozen tundra Greenland. Those Icelandic "delicacies" are probably for tourists while the residents chow down on filet mignon.
    Don't forget, too, that in the days of the Vikings (no, not the kind that are stinking up the NFC-North this year), they were able to successfully farm the shoreline areas of Greenland on a subsistence basis - until an episode of Global Climate Change™ hit , making things too cold there for them to continue.

    Mike

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    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Don't forget, too, that in the days of the Vikings (no, not the kind that are stinking up the NFC-North this year), they were able to successfully farm the shoreline areas of Greenland on a subsistence basis - until an episode of Global Climate Change™ hit , making things too cold there for them to continue.

    Mike
    And I read recently that the current warming trends have been good for Icelandic farmers as it has opened up land (again) for cultivation (limited as that may be)

    Man, I am so hungry right now. Raw lamb with a side of rams testicles here I come!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Waiter - I'll have the fish please!
    (seems to be the safest choice)
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  7. #7
    Mod Gedunker's avatar
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    Y'all are making me hungry for some leverpostej med rugbrod, with an Aalborg Akvavit and Tuborg Gron.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
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    I think the trick is to drink alcohol before ordering, drink more before eating, and drink even more afterwards. That way, your tastebuds are numb and you don't really realize what it is that you just ate.

    I've been thinking about a trip to Iceland. I've almost convinced my sister to meet me there for a vacation. Please keep us posted!

    and = the strongest local drink you can get.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  9. #9
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    To be fair the locals aren't eating the tradtional dishes on a normal basis. And why would they when you can get some of the best seafood in the world cooked only hours after it was caught, or eat The True National Dish of Iceland at just about any hour of the day?

    I'd still suggest going to a touristy place like the Viking Village in Hafnarfjordur, or a local traditional restaurant in the interior where you can try all of the local "delicacies." Honestly, most of it's not bad. The sheep testicles, whale blubber, puffin, and blood-suet were even tasty. However, there is no way to make Hákarl palatable, regardless of how much Brennivin you down. It's as though someone made Jello out of urine and then left that to rot in the summer sun for a week or two. And that's the tactful description.

    Enjoy your trip, Dan. The natural beauty of the island is one of the most amazing experiences ever. And your planner eye will certainly be fascinated with the infrastructure and unique urban development patterns in Iceland.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Why do I get the feeling that some (or ALL ) of this stuff could well (or at least should) be on the menu at one or more of the concessions stands at the Metrodome in Minneapolis?



    Mike

  11. #11
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Iceland is awesome; food, not so much. Stick with the fish.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Um, do they have any vegetarian restaurants?? I'm not sure I could find anything to eat there myself.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    Um, do they have any vegetarian restaurants?? I'm not sure I could find anything to eat there myself.
    Here you go. Enjoy.

    http://www.anaestugrosum.is/
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  14. #14
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    This thread provides the proof for why McDonald's exists.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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