8 may 2007

For the curious there are two Icelandic foods that should certainly be tried. One is Hákarl, which is half-dry, half-rotten shark. This is white inside with a prickly horn rind outside, as tough as an old boot. Owing to the smell it has to be eaten out of doors. It is shaved off with a knife and eaten with brandy. It tastes more like boot polish than anything else I can think of. The other is Reyngi. This is the tail of the whale, which is pickled in sour milk for a year or so. If you intend to try it do not visit a whaling station first. Incidentally, talking about pickling in sour milk, the Icelanders also do this with sheeps' udders and the result is surprisingly very nice.

- Auden & MacNeice, Letters from Iceland