When you hear Scandinavia, automatically you would think Vikings and Norse Mythology. Undeniably, these influences have left an eternal mark in the Scandinavian region that would reflect in the culture and tradition of the people in the area from past to present. We will see some of these influences manifested as we proceed in discussing our topic which is, Top 10 Weirdest Food in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland). These countries are so tied up together when it comes to customs and traditions that we will discuss and consider these countries as one, belonging to the large Scandinavian region. I think all countries have its own fair share of bizarre, exotic and weird dishes. Though the people who grew up consuming those delicacies may not agree with our description, it will remain a description nonetheless. Furthermore, the location of the region contributed to the uniqueness of its cuisine. The Scandinavian region is surrounded by the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. In the contrary, their delicacies are not only limited to fishes for there are ingredients sourced from the land as well. Are you ready? Here is the
Top 10 Weirdest Food In Scandinavia:
- KÃ¦ster HÃ¡karl – Would you eat shark in the spirit of travel? What if I tell you that HÃ¡karl is not just an ordinary local delicacy but a National Dish as well and it embodies the Icelandic tradition dating centuries back? No? Well, I will not either. After all, it will take a lot of courage to swallow a decomposed and fermented shark flesh that smells like ammonia or urine and possibly taste the same.
- Blood Pudding or SlÃ¡tur – This is yet another ancient Icelandic delicacy with sheep’s blood as its main ingredient. It is common to see this dish consumed in households as it is cheap and would help a family’s survival especially in times of crisis. You should not be surprised if you see this ingredient in demand in public markets these days. Aside from that, you will see this dish normally served as well during the ÃžorrablÃ³t festival which litearlly means, sacrifice. For the faint-hearted, this is something that you may be able to try since it does not look and taste as bad as it sounds.
- Sheep’s Head or Smalahove – Brace yourself, Christmas is coming and you can expect this Sheep’s Head dish to be served in a Western Norwegian table. A Sheep’s Head in your plate, like, literally! Consuming this delicacy might be a little tricky for first timers because you must first remove the skin, open the jaw and remove the meat, cut and flip the lower jaw, cut and prepare the tongue and loosen the meat in the cheek as well as the front area, get rid of the bones and then indulge. If you’re lucky, you might even find the brain intact and cooked inside the skull.
- Rakfisk – Another Norwegian Christmas staple dish is the trout or char fish that can be fermented from 2 months up to a year. The longer the Rakfisk is fermented the stronger the taste and the stickier it becomes and you will have to eat it as it is. Now, let’s talk about appetite!
- Lutefisk – Translated as Lye Fish in Norwegian, it is gelatinous in texture as a result of the absorption of moisture after dehydration. The process starts with dried white fish that is rehydrated until it reaches its jelly like consistency. This classic preservation process was usually done during the harsh Nordic winter in the olden days since it is effective when it comes to the conservation to ensure that there will be enough to survive the winter. Now, that we have the luxury of a refrigerator, I wonder why this delicacy remains a staple still. The only thing I can think of would be to honor tradition. Would you eat this squishy dish to honor a century old tradition? It should be worth a try.
- Fermented Herring or SurstrÃ¶mming – The fermentation process of this Baltic Sea Herring usually starts in April or May for they are fished before the spawning takes place. This Swedish dish is dubbed as The World’s Smelliest Food and the irony of it is that this delicacy is still being celebrated from the third Thursday of August to September in a festival called SurstrÃ¶mmingsskiva. It is an ancient Scandinavian tradition of merrymaking and indulging in the SurstrÃ¶mming of the year when it is ready for consumption. The festivity involves drinking, singing and dancing which may leave you baffled if you are a non Swedish who happened to have experienced the aroma of this fermented forage fish of the wild.
- SmÃ¸rrebrÃ¸d – Bread is a staple in a Scandinavian table and this food may look like a normal open-faced sandwich but don’t be fooled because this one is beyond ordinary. This sandwich can be topped not only with cheese, salad, fruit but also fish. Yes! You read it right. Fish. A whole fish in your sandwich, Cooked, of course!
- Blodpalt – Wonder why this traditional Scandinavian dumpling seem darker than its foreign counterpart? That is because it is prepared with rye or barley flour and reindeer’s blood. Weird as it may sound, these Blodpalt dumplings that’s common in North of Sweden and Finland are actually nutritious and can be enjoyed as a side dish.
- Fish Roe Spread or SmÃ¶rgÃ¥skaviar – This is a classic traditional sandwich spread that originated from Sweden with fish roe as its main ingredient. Just like the other Scandinavian dish in this list, Fish Roe Spread is not for everyone. It may taste a little bit too fishy and salty for your liking. Also, it is packaged in a tube that looks more like a toothpaste than a sandwich spread.
- Salty Licorice or Salmiak – You may find it interesting why this Super Salty Licorice is so popular across Scandinavia. Who likes to eat Super Salty Licorice? In addition, this product contains ammonium chloride, it is an organic compound that can be found in batteries and metalwork. Yummy!