• John Boccellari

TUESDAY FEATURE - RIDICULOUS FOOD - HAKARL - ICELAND


(PHOTO PROVIDED BY HOSTELWORLD.COM. PHOTO TAKEN BY: RICHARD TOLLER)

Hakarl is fermented shark meat and it is a dish that was once described by Anthony Bourdain as the worst dish he has ever eaten. It is an Icelandic delicacy. The dish is made of rotting meat from shark that is buried and then weighed down by rocks in order to drain out the poisonous fluids that are needed to help said shark survive in the extreme cold waters that it lives in. Once these fluids are drained from the shark, the meat is hung and dried out until it is ready to serve. I believe when Anthony Bourdain tried it, he ate it plain and as it was meant to be eaten. If you did choose to venture and try this dish, I have found a recipe from THANHSKITCHEN.COM.

(PHOTO PROVIDED VIA THANHSKITCHEN.COM)

Hákarl (Icelandic Fermented Shark Meat) in Tamarind-Fish-Chili-Sauce Ingredients: About 1/2 cup cubed Hákarl (Icelandic Fermented Shark Meat), roughly 3-oz 1 recipe of Tamarind-Fish-Chili Sauce (see recipe below) Directions: Make the Tamarind-Fish-Chili Sauce and mix in the Hákarl (Icelandic Fermented Shark Meat) until all the meat has been coated. Add more chili pepper if interested. Tamarind-Fish-Chili Sauce Ingredients: About 3 Tbsp water About 1 Tbsp tamarind pulp A squirt of chili pepper About 1/2 tsp fish sauce About 1/2 tsp brown sugar Directions: Heat water and tamarind pulp in a small pot or pan. Avoid boiling. Mash the pulp gently to remove as much of the tamarind as possible. Strain the liquid and scrape the back of the bottom of a strainer to remove as much tamarind sauce as possible. Return the liquid and tamarind sauce into a clean pan or pot. Add chili pepper, fish sauce and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Would I Try It?

If I'm honest with myself, and I always am, I do not see myself digging into a bowl of Hakarl anytime soon. At least not on it's own. I see myself trying it with the Tamarind Fish Chili Sauce. But then again, maybe I find myself in a weird position here and I feel like I'm backed into a corner. How could I say that I would not try it on one hand, but then say that I would if it had a delicious sauce on it? Plus, any good chef worth any sort of merit would try his/her ingredients before making any sort of applications to it. So it looks like I need to back track here and change my stance. Yes I would try it, but only if I needed to in order to make a dish like the one in the recipe that I have provided above. But please don't take this as any form of disrespect, I would not go out of my way to try it.

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