Traditional Fermented Shark Becomes Tourist Draw in Iceland

/ / Consumer

Hákarl, fermented shark, is a traditional Icelandic food that has become a major draw for tourists to the country. The shark, the Greenland Shark, lives in the deepest parts of the Arctic and North Atlantic water. It’s also the longest living vertebrate on earth — its average lifespan is 272 years. The sharks are rarely caught intentionally; they’re usually a bycatch of halibut fishing.


Because Greenland sharks live in deep water pressure, the sharks are full of high concentrations of nitrogenous waste products, making their flesh toxic. So the Greenland shark must be fermented for humans to safely consume it. Meat is sliced, buried, then hung to dry in open structures for months. Consuming the meat has become a rite of passage for the bravest foodies. The fermented meat has an ammonia stench and a chewy texture.

Read more (Forbes)