Þorrablót

2 02 2013

The midwinter feast Þorrablót in Iceland is held at any time during the month of Þorri, which begins on the first Friday after January 19th (the 13th week of winter) in Iceland. The Þorrablót is an evening with dinner where participants hold speeches, tell jokes, and recite poems as well as an after-dinner dance. Þorrablót takes place in the coldest dark days of the year, and it’s interesting to keep in mind that many of the foods served are actually the smoked/pickled produce of the previous year.

When Iceland was a Danish colony, Iceland was forbidden to use salt. (Otherwise they could salted fish and sell to other countries. They would have been able to transplant their own money and become independent.) But Icelanders used other methods of storing food. The food was smoked, dried, pickled or fermented. Most þorramat dishes are made with these methods.

The buffet at Hotel Reykjenes.

The buffet at Hotel Reykjenes.

Items on the menu include:

  1. Hákarl (putrefied shark)
  2. Blóðmör (filled sausage/black pudding)
  3. Hrútspungur (ram’s scrotum with testicles)
  4. Lundabaggi (sheep’s fat)
  5. Svinasulta (jellied ham)
  6. Svið (jellied sheep’s head)
  7. Magálar (smoked sheep stomach)
  8. Hangikjot (smoked lamb)
  9. Súrhvalur (pickled whale blubber)
  10. Harðfiskur (dried fish)
  11. Rúgbrauð (rye bread)
  12. Lifrarpylsa (liver sausage)

Vegetables are not typically served with the meal, but I believe we had some peas.

While I think that I tried everything, I cannot be sure that I had everything on the menu!

While I think that I tried everything (judging by the amount of food on my plate), I cannot be sure that I had everything on the menu!

This is such a unique event and we were lucky that we were able to take part with the locals of the Wesfjords!

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