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Hakarl – The Food That Stinks of Piss

Hakarl hanging in Iceland

There are a number of foods that are either so rancid, so poisonous, or both that you honestly wonder how they were discovered in the first place. We present Hakarl – the food that stinks of piss.

I’ll never forget when I first read about puffer fish from Japan and how many people it killed. There are two main questions I remember about this, firstly how many people did it kill before they found the “good bit” and more importantly why don’t you just eat something else?

What is Hakarl?

Hakarl is the preserved meat of the Greenlandic shark that is so poisonous, it has to be cured and fermented for months until it is safe enough to eat. In case you’re not yet sold on it, I shall continue.

How do They Cure Greenlandic Shark?

Iceland has traditionally been short on salt, so to ferment hakarl, it is buried in the ground for a few months before being hung out to dry and cut into strips.

How Does Hakarl Smell?

It smells of ammonia, AKA it stinks like piss. Generally speaking, piss and food should not be bed fellows. Though it’d hardly be the first time.

How do You Eat Hakarl?

It is served in strips and is traditionally eaten before being chased with a shot of Bevit, the local moonshine. You need strong liquor to kill any of the germs not removed during the fermentation process. I go back to my former comment of why the fuck would you eat this?

How Does Hakarl Taste?

Truly delicious looking chunk of Hakarl

The taste isn’t actually all that bad, although it does smell like a leaky mans toilet in a bar. Locals suggest that you hold your nose when you have it.

Who Actually Eats This Stuff?

Ironically Icelanders are now obsessed with hot-dogs, with Hakarl being kept for stupid tourists.

And that is the Weird World Wire take on this very weird food.

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