Haukarl - a dish of the ancient Vikings

Haukarl is an Icelandic dish made from Greenland polar shark jerky. Due to the abundance of urea and ammonia in the blood of this shark, its meat is poisonous, so the recipe is rather unusual and was inherited by the Icelanders from the ancient Vikings.

The shark carcass is fresh, cut into pieces and stacked for 6-8 weeks or more, depending on the season in containers with gravel and holes in the walls so that the juices saturated with urea can flow freely. Then the meat is taken out and, hanging on special hooks, is left to dry in the fresh air for another 2-4 months. During this time, the pieces of meat are covered with a crust, which must be cut off so that one yellowish inner part remains, which is served to the table.

Despite its unappetizing appearance and unpleasant smell, this dish is very popular both among tourists and among the local population. Traditionally, the Torrablot gastronomic festival is held annually in January in many cities of Iceland. During it, it is customary to cook and taste real food of the ancient Vikings.

An interesting fact: Greenland polar sharks are the most cold-loving representatives of this family, they can live peacefully at zero water temperature, and also reach up to 7 m in length and weigh up to 1.5 tons. Despite their threatening appearance and size, these fish feed mainly on carrion and marine life.