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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Iceland - The Gastromic Epicentre of the Frozen North

As ever I enjoy cooking shows - not all, but some.
My recent favorite is called No Reservations and is hosted by an New Yorker called Anthony Bourdain who pretends to be a sour old bastard but is in fact delighted by all good things in the world.
In this show he travels the world eating wonderful and occasionally hideous things the locals serve him up.
He had a trying time in Namibia choking down freshly barbequed warthogs anus (with the shit squeezed out only minutes before it was slung on the coals).
This was followed up with barbequed warthogs tongue with vomit dressing.
Apparently the warthog pukes up after they spear it.
I'm sure I would too.
Another thing he tried was in Iceland - rancid shark.
In short the Icelanders bury the shark in the ground so it ferments then hang it out in lumps to dry.
It looks like smoked cheese and apparently smells like piss.
It got me wondering what other undiscovered gastronomic delights Iceland had in store for me, as it's somewhere I'd love to visit.
I found THIS wonderful website, which is a collection of Icelandic recipes that I think you'd have to be Icelandic or drunk/insane/on the brink of starvation to enjoy.
My favorite recipe was for something called Lifrarbuff - a liver pattie.
Here is the method:

Remove all membranes and blood vessels from the liver and peel the potatoes. Peel onions and chop coarsely. Mince together liver, potatoes and onions. Mix in flour, baking powder and spices. Add the egg. Thin the mixture with milk, until it is the consistency of porridge. By this time it should look like a disgusting mess.

A disgusting mess. You don't say?
You can complete the menu with Puffin in Milk Sauce, Fish Pancakes (extra yummy!) and Iceland Moss Soup, which the site assures is both healthy and nourishing.
Apparently it's really a lichen and not a moss, but I'm not sure that effects the flavor.
It's called "Fjallagrasamjólk" and is presumably named that because it's exactly the same sound you make when you spit it out all over the table.


aunt mel said...

icelandic chopped liver yummy

Anonymous said...

Mum sez Moss Soup extra yummy

Mum said...

PS Maybe lichen is Islensk for lokshen!!!!

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