Food & Drink

Strange Sunday Lunches - Iceland - Hákarl

Northern Living Strange Sunday Lunches From around the world Iceland - HákarlHákarl is a food from Iceland. It is a Greenland or basking shark which has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for 4-5 months. Hákarl has a very particular ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste. It is, quite literally, rotten shark meat. It was traditionally served during the mid-winter festivities know as  Thorrablot but people visiting Iceland as tourists are often presented with Hákarl as a Sunday lunch offering. This may indicate that the Icelander either have a very mischievous sense of humour, or they are simply inhospitable and are determined to persuade visitors not to return!!!!


(1) Wash and gut your shark.

(2) Bury the shark in gravel. Mark the location with a pile on stones. Unearth it six to eight weeks later.

(3) Allow the shark to cure in the open air for another two months. 

(4) Cut off the thick brown crust which has grown around the shark. The remaining slab of flesh should smell somewhat like ammonia.

(5) Eat the white flesh inside, along with a drink of Brennivín, an aquavit-like schnapps flavored with caraway.


English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish