Serving. This is without a doubt the most traditional spirit found in Iceland and an absolute must try for all travelers. The Black Death – Brennivín in Icelandic. Ominous. Sounds delicious, huh? Fermented shark, ram testicles, sheep head and so much more! While it’s popular as a shot, many like to mix coke or another soft drink in Brennivin. (Fermented Shark Meat) We’ll start here because it routinely tops the lists of outlandish foods that can only be found in Iceland: Kæstur Hákarl. So sit back, grab a glass of wine and maybe a plate of fermented shark because we are here to talk about a notorious drink with the ominous name of black death. Traditionally, one would take a shot of “Black Death” (Brennivin), a schnapps of shorts, with the meat. Hákarl (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈhauːkʰartl̥]; an abbreviation of kæstur hákarl, referred to as fermented shark in English) 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. Hakarl - The Infamous Fermented Shark Here it is. ... #3. Many choose to pair it with both fermented foods and any traditional foods in Iceland. How is fermented shark made? They put it under the ground for about eight months to rot, and then you eat it and wash it down with some "black death" Brennivin schnapps. Brennivin is the actual name of this drink but it’s commonly referred to as black death. It is preserved by burying the meat in sand for 612 weeks. ... rotten and fermented shark with Brennivín. MakeFoodSafe took a moment to think about the food shark and what it looks like on this list. I grabbed a small paper plate that had a few morsels of the fermented shark meat and a tray of plastic Dixie cups filled with a clear liquid. SO WHAT WAS THIS SHARK MEAT LIKE? Brennivín is made from a mix of fermented grain, potato mash, and caraway seeds - so those that have tried Akvavit before, will definitely notice some similarities in flavour. For example, a popular dish to take a shot with a fermented shark or pickled herring. Fermented Shark Meat Like many folks, one of the things I love most about traveling is trying new foods—usually delightfully delicious ones, but also some more peculiar bites. The pressure of the sand removes the uric acid from the meat and it becomes edible. Shark meat from Iceland!!! That’s why we tell first-timers to pinch their nose while taking the first bite and it’s best to wash it down with a shot of Brennivin which sometimes is called Black Death (strong Icelandic alcohol). But the main national drink is Black Death, a fiery spirit made from fermented potato pulp and flavoured with caraway seeds. On Iceland’s western coast, a museum showcases one of its most distinctive dishes: hákarl, or fermented shark. Dispatches Iceland Fermented shark, anyone? When talking about liquorice, I am naturally referring to the black Icelandic liquorice. Brennivín is typically served cold and in a shot glass. I was disappointed last year when we went to Iceland and never found hákarl (fermented shark meat), a traditional Icelandic dish, on offer. Branding. It's Greenland shark that's been laboriously fermented, dried, and cured. First, the shark is beheaded. Fermented shark is made using a time old method using meat that would be toxic if eaten unfermented. And it's been done by one family in this area for hundreds of years. Fermented shark is simply rotting shark. Fermented shark, or hákarl in Icelandic, is (ironically) a Greenland shark that’s been buried and pressed under gravel and stone, then hung and cured for months, wherein it develops a scab-like crust. ... (Black Death) Brennivín, nicknamed “Black Death,” is the quintessential Icelandic liquor. Fermented shark is probably on the list of the most misunderstood foods in the world and is a regional delicacy here in western Iceland. ... or which would be black death. Therefore, it was sometimes called "svarti dauði" (black death). In Icelandic, the name translates to “treated shark.” “Treated” is the key word here. Sources: 5, 14, 20 It has become so popular that Iceland is one of the few places where you don’t try to rot a shark. Eating shark meat, especially shark meat that has been fermented in urea, like the famous Icelandic dish “Harkal,” can be incredibly damaging to the health of humans. And no, I'm not talking about that sheep's face. Fermented shark Learn about the fermentation process at a family fishery and then join the Rotten Shark Club (you get a certificate) – if you can stomach a bite of fermented shark… It taste great they say, and boy were they wrong!!!! Islenski barinn The Icelandic Bar: Rotten shark & Black Death - See 1,937 traveler reviews, 1,025 candid photos, and great deals for Reykjavik, Iceland, at Tripadvisor. WHAT IS BLACK DEATH / BRENNIVIN? Then, to eliminate poisons, such as trimethylamine oxide and uric acid (a compound found in urine), a shallow hole is dug in the sand and the hákarl is placed in it with stones, sand, and gravel placed on top. When the movie was complete, it was finally time to sample what we had come for…The fermented shark of Iceland. And it's been done by one family in this area for hundreds of years. The Black Death nickname comes from the old days when prohibition was lifted in Iceland and the State Alcohol Monopoly out it on the market. It's Greenland shark that's been laboriously fermented, dried, and cured. Súrir Hrútspungar (Sour Ram's Testicles) That brings us to ram's testicles, a tricky one to justify, no … It is made commonly from the Greenland shark that is found in the Northern Atlantic, but sometimes it is made from other sleeper sharks caught off the coast of Iceland. It is best eaten by recklessly tossing it into your mouth and chasing it with a swig of Black Death. This is the most traditional (and popular) Icelandic spirit and has been for centuries. Much as I love Iceland when I visit earlier this year, it's responsible for the single most disgusting eating experience I've had in my life. Apparently, they wanted to make the drink sound as bad as possible, hence the green bottle and harsh label. It was placed on a table together with small cubes of bread. Brennivín – the ‘Black Death’ While it doesn’t technically count as a ‘dish’ per se, if you’re going to be eating something like fermented shark or sheep’s head/testicles, it’s probably best washed down with some brennivín – a potent Icelandic take on schnapps known as the ‘Black Death’. Fermented Shark & Rye Bread. One way to know if you are being offered a fermented shark is the overwhelming smell of ammonia that refuses to leave your nostrils. It is the traditional accompaniment to the uniquely Icelandic hákarl, a type of fermented shark meat. If you find yourself at a gathering of family or friends in Iceland, you may come face to face with this pairing — fermented shark meat and an 80-proof schnapps lovingly nicknamed "Black Death." A bottle of Brennivin , or Black Death, the 80 proof caraway-infused, potato-based schnapps — considered to be the National drink of Iceland — found its way onto the tray. What is Brennivín made of? ... or which would be black death. 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