Glorious Gluttony: Fermented Shark (hakarl) of Iceland

The wind and rain inhibited our sightseeing plans for Snaefellsnes Peninsula. The visibility was so poor, we drove around the iconic Kirkjufell and could only see a faint outline of the monolithic mountain.

Exploring new restaurants and trying local cuisine is an excellent alternative when weather throws travel plans awry. Nothing says “emotional eating” like feeding our despair with food. So we treated ourselves to a romantic seafood dinner at Bjarnarhöfn — the Icelandic Shark Museum famous for the production of a very special Icelandic delicacy – hákarl.

It’s fermented shark. Yes, that famous fermented shark of Iceland.

Feasting on Hakarl

I could go into detail how we fared, but rather, I’ll show you. I created this slightly embarrassing but mostly hilarious video of us eating the fermented shark of Iceland. It may just entice you to book a flight to Iceland so you can taste it for yourself.

(if the embedded video above does not show, you can watch us eating fermented shark here). If you like this video and want to see me make more YouTube videos, give it a thumbs up or subscribe to my channel. :)

What does hakarl taste like? Eric described the shark as cod marinated in rubbing alcohol. It was the taste that got him.

For me, it was a texture thing. I didn’t find the taste too grotesque, but if I could describe the texture, I’d say “gelatinous calamari tofu” coupled with the putrid, sharp, pickled ammonia flavor. Blegh. Hakarl tasted fine with the bread but I wish I would have brought Brennivín to swallow it down.

How lucky am I that my newlywed husband treated me out to the finest Icelandic delicacy. It may have been a rainy, dreary day, but he sure knew how to treat a lady when the weather got me down.

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