Hákarl is an Icelandic national dish made of a Greenland shark or other sleeper shark that has been cured with a specific fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. Hákarl is an acquired taste due to its strong ammonia-rich smell and fishy flavor.
Fermented shark contains a high concentration of ammonia and has a strong odor similar to many cleaning products. It is frequently served in cubes with toothpicks along with a strong spirit.
The meat of the Greenland shark is poisonous when fresh due to high levels of urea and trimethylamine oxide. However, when properly processed, it can be consumed safely.
Some say Hákarl tastes better than it smells, but that’s debatable. Zimmern described the flavor as “sweet, nutty… only faintly fishy.” The late Anthony Bourdain, on the other hand, described it as “the single worst, most disgusting, and terrible tasting thing” he had ever eaten.
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