I've had some pretty bad food in my lifetime. I'm a pretty terrible cook. I once had some food at an airport in Atlanta that I immediately threw in the garbage, because it was so nasty.
I'm not normally one to do food dares. But we're talking about my heritage here. On my mom's side, I'm Icelandic. In the bitter cold of northern winters, my ancestors did what they could to survive. They preserved food in whatever way they could find. Håkarl is one of those foods.
Greenland shark is toxic and fatal if eaten fresh. If it is buried in gravel, fermented there for a few months and then hanged to dry for several more months it can safely be eaten.
That's not to say it will taste good! But if you can keep it down it will keep you alive.
Every year Icelanders celebrate Thorrablot. It is a mid-winter feast. It celebrates the fact that the days are getting a bit longer. We do the same here in Utah, but it is more to celebrate our Icelandic heritage. My mom grew up in Spanish Fork where many Icelandic pioneers settled in the 1800s.
In this video, I try Hakarl for the first time.