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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Watch: Local preschoolers taste fermented shark at their Þorrablót feast

By Staff

  • An acquired taste None of those present were particularly keen on getting a second serving of fermented shark. Photo/Screenshot from video, see below

The season of Þorri began on Friday, on Husband's day. According to tradition this is also the season to celebrate the mid-winter's feasts, the Þorrablót. During pagan times and the Viking Age the Þorrablót were one of the most important ceremonies and feasts, the four main feasts of the year. The religious role of these feasts was eliminated with the adoption of Christianity, but still the Þorrablót continued to be observed in some form throughout the centuries.

In the 20th century this old tradition was then resurrected in the Þorrablót feasts, where Icelanders observe old traditions and eat traditional Icelandic foods, called "Þorramatur", foods of Þorri. These include things which are rarely seen on the weekly menu of most people, like pickled rams' testicles and fermented shark, hákarl, but also some more common foods, like lifrarpylsa and blóðmör (blood- and liver sausage), hangikjöt (smoked lamb), svið (charred sheep's heads) and sviðasulta (sheep's head cheese).

Read more:  Anthony Bourdain on eating the Icelandic “delicacy” fermented shark: “never again”

One of these Þorrablót feasts was held at the day-care center Nóaborg in down-town Reykjavík. Instead of their regular lunch the children had a Þorrablót buffet on Friday.

As the video below shows the children are excited to participate in the festivities. Our sources tell us that the lifrarpylsa (a kind of haggis/liver sausage) and the smoked lamb are at the top of most of the kids' lists of favorite Þorramatur. But the most inquisitive and adventurous are also curious about some of the more challenging foods.

The bravest even go so far as to taste the hákarl!

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