Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It’s Lamb Testicle Season In Iceland

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Pickled lamb testicles and putrefied shark might not tempt your tummy, but these dishes are the flavor of the month in Iceland. This Friday (Jan. 26) marks the beginning of “Thorrablot,” a month-long festival where Icelanders celebrate the foods eaten by the ancient Vikings who settled the arctic island. The stomach-turning specialties served include lamb testicles pickled in sour whey; jellies made from sheep brains; and seal flippers. But the real taste treat is something called “hakarl” – or “rotten shark.” It’s prepared by burying a shark in gravel until it putrefies – about six to eight months. “Hakarl” has an ammonia-like smell and it’s best when the cook urinates on the fish before burial. “Thorrablot” food doesn’t sound – or smell – very tasty, but the dishes remind Icelanders how their ancestors used to survive long winter months. Thorrablot ends Feb. 25 and, until then, Icelanders will be drinking lots of Brennevin, a vodka-like beverage that cuts the ammonia aftertaste in most of the dishes.

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