Fermented Shark Hákarl is a National Dish from Iceland
Fermented shark, or Hákarl, is a traditional Icelandic dish that is made from the meat of the Greenland shark. The preparation of Hákarl involves burying the shark meat in a shallow pit and letting it ferment for several months, during which time it develops a strong and pungent ammonia smell that can be overpowering to some. Once the fermentation process is complete, the shark meat is cut into small cubes and served as a delicacy, often accompanied by a shot of strong Icelandic schnapps called Brennivín. Hákarl is a challenging dish to eat, with a rubbery texture and a taste that can be described as both sour and fishy. Fermented shark is high in protein but also very high in sodium and may contain toxic levels of ammonia. Its nutritional value is limited due to the fermentation process and potential health risks. Despite its strong smell and taste, Hákarl is enjoyed by many locals and the tourists who are brave enough to try it.