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Yesterday we put up our recap of Iceland Airwaves, and while it was FAIRLY comprehensive, there was (of course) a lot of bonus footage leftover, some of which is now being turned into bonus videos like the one you are about to (maybe) watch in which I subject myself to eating hákarl, the notoriously terrible-tasting putrefied shark that Anthony Bourdain said was the worst thing he’d ever eaten.
For a bit of background, hákarl is: Greenland shark that is pressed and hung out to dry for four to five months because (when fresh) the meat is poisonous. (Whoever figured out how to make this stuff edible was seriously fucked in the head.)
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to LOVE hákarl, but I also felt like people were exaggerating about how bad it was. And in that assumption I was wrong. While it’s absolutely not THE WORST thing I have ever eaten, it was definitely unpleasant. Example: have you ever been walking at the beach and passed a curbside trash can? And a lingering wave of fishy beach garbage wafts into your nose? Imagine that smell injected as flavoring into a pencil eraser, and that is essentially what you would get with hákarl. It is essentially aquatic gangrene in bite-sized form, and I would inexplicably get bursts of the smell for the rest of the trip at random times. It was not awesome.
Fortunately I only forked over 200 ISK (roughly $1.60 USD) to sample this atrocity at the Reykjavik Flea Market, though part of me does feel pretty lame and wasteful for chucking out the remnants (however minuscule) after I realized this was not something I could continue consuming. Would I eat it again? Obviously not if I can help it, but I *would*, however, eat it over certain other foods that I hate, like, say, a spoonful of mayonnaise. (The worst food item known to man, TBH…)
Anyway, here is the video evidence that I did indeed eat this and live to regret it: