Weird And Wonderful Dishes To Try In The Arctic
When venturing into a new part of the world, a great way to fully immerse yourself in the culture is to try the local food. Whilst the French have escargot, Italians their pizza and the Germans their Bratwurst, you may be a little stuck in being able to suggest what’s for dinner when dining in the Arctic. You may be thinking that they’re probably not the most exciting dishes in the world but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Hakarl – Shark
Image: Wikipedia Commons user Chris 73
Hakarl is cured shark. It’s an acquired taste, but most fans of strong cheese may take a liking to this delicacy. Cured with a particular fermentation process, the shark is buried underground for six to twelve weeks and then hung out to dry for a further four to five months. This is done due to the acid found in the shark’s flesh which makes it poisonous to eat fresh. This dish goes perfectly with Iceland’s national alcoholic beverage Brennivín, otherwise known as ‘Black Death’.
Ein með öllu – Icelandic hot dog
The iconic Icelandic hot dog is not just any kind of sausage. Unusually, it is made from a mix of both lamb and pork meat, giving it its unusual flavour. But what really makes them stand out from the crowd are the sauces that are put on top. Traditionally, an Icelandic hot dog is served with everything, meaning ketchup, a sweet brown mustard, raw onions, fried onions, and remoulade (a sauce made with mayonnaise and relish). Yum!
Lundi – Puffin
Those cute little birds that you may well sing perched high on a cliff during your Iceland cruise are considered a delicacy here. Puffin can be either smoked or boiled in a milk sauce and is served in restaurants all over the country.
A traditional Norwegian dish consisting of mutton, cabbage and whole black pepper, fårikål is a hearty stew that’s cooked for several hours and is sure to keep you warm on a cold day in Norway. So popular is the dish, it even has a day dedicated in its honour. Fårikål Fest Day is celebrated on the last Thursday in September each year.
Image: Wikipedia Commons user Jonathunder
Not to be confused with crumb cake, the Norwegian krumkake is a waffle cookie made of flour, butter, eggs, sugar and cream. Fashioned into a small cone with an iron rod when hot, they can be eaten plain or filled with whipped cream or other fillings. They are traditionally offered as a sweet dessert after a Christmas Eve dinner of ribs.
It would appear Santa’s most trusted allies would be fair game in the country of Norway. Finnbiff, otherwise known as sautéed reindeer, is a traditional meal dating back 6,000 years. However, despite this, it stills happens to sit in the top 10 of the most searched for dishes on the internet. Packed full of flavour, finbiff is a relatively simple yet scrumptious dish and it sounds as though we’d love to give it a try! Sorry, Santa.
Image: Wikipedia Commons user Off-shell
Best described as a cheese-filled pancake, syrniki is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They are made from flour, eggs, sugar and quark cheese and have a sweet taste. Syrniki are often served as either a breakfast food or dessert.
A beetroot and red cabbage broth, borscht is a delicious, warming soup perfect for the harsh temperatures of Russia. It can be served with meat, potatoes, herbs and a dollop of smetana (Russian sour cream). It is usually accompanied by a slice of bread on the side and topped off with melted cheese. Although it is normally served as a starter, borscht is filling enough to have as a main meal and is sure to warm you up.
It’s not technically a food, but you cannot visit Russia without trying some of the local vodka. Sip it with a mixer or sink a shot; it’s sure to warm you up from the inside out.
So there we have it, a host of interesting meals that we could never have imagined existed. Will you be trying some on your visit?
If any of the dishes above tickle your taste buds and you do want to sample them in their country of origin, call our friendly team today and they can help you plan your Arctic Expedition.