We're back from our 10 day vacation! Iceland is not exactly a gourmet's mecca but we did the best we could. Like good foodies, we diligently tried to cover everything local to Iceland. If I may say so myself, I think we did quite well =)
I remember puffins as the cute mascot used by the book publisher Puffin Books. They're endangered in some parts of the world but are apparently like pigeons in Iceland. The puffin we had was smoked and served as an appetizer. Puffin's red meat, salty since it was smoked and the texture was like hrmmmm .... raw beef.
Served here with a little honey mustard:
They are often mistaken for puffins. This carries over to the taste of the meat as well. I had it as part of a salad this time. It actually went pretty well with shavings of parmasan cheese so I enjoyed this better than the puffin which scared me a little.
The soup in the bowl is fish stew. Next to the salad with smoked guillemot:
And lo and behold! The most bizarre of them all. Putrid Shark! Putrid shark is putrid because it's buried for months, fermented and then hung to dry.
The experience wasn't all bad for me. I gingerly took a small bite (hey no water here, it was a farm not restaurant). It tasted like a messed up swiss cheese. Had a little bit of an issue swallowing it, mostly from the mental picture I conjured, but I managed. (Duh Gordan Ramsey is lame, saw on Wikipedia that he puked up the Harkarl in a food challenge.)
P on the other hand didn't have quite such a mild experience. He bravely ate the entire cube. According to him "it has a very strong ammonia after taste that burns your esophagus". Following that he mocked me for only having a small bite. Whatever :P maybe he has a future in Fear Factor.
Oh and one more thing. The smell stays with you. The entire farm had this weird mildly rotting stench. I got some of the shark on my fingers while trying to craft a smaller piece for myself. Bad move, I couldn't wash the odor away! EEEKS!!
It's hanging to dry here. Surprisingly the smell isn't as bad out here:
TO BE CONTINUED ...