Viking Poison Strikes: Icelandic Brennivin

It started with innocuous questions about the cuisine. Two minutes later, the rather good looking Icelander came back from the kitchen with a small frozen jar filled with white chunks. He then searches the closet and pulls an empty bottle of schnapps, then finds a unopened one stashed in a brown paper bag. What do these employees do to warrant a few bottles of liquor in the closet?

Doesn’t matter…the fun was about to start.

Three small shot glasses were laid out and filled with the schnapps. My friend, the Icelander, and I took the toothpicks and each picked the smallest white block of meat from the jar.

And then we ate. The putrid, slimy, chewy piece fought hard to no be dissolved in my mouth. I turned it to pulp after vigorous chewing and chased it with the schnapps. Nauseated, dizzy, and wholly disgusted, it was over in a couple minutes yet the aftertaste super glued itself to my teeth, gums, tongue, and even my lips.

That was Brennivín, Icelandic schnapps – known as svarti dauði (“black death”)…and hakarlputrified shark meat

1 thought on “Viking Poison Strikes: Icelandic Brennivin”

  1. Have you ever seen a TV programme called Bizarre foods? The host of the programme travels all over the globe trying the local ‘cuisine’. He traveled to Iceland and also tried that putrified shark meat – eeeuuuww!! I think he liked it, but honestly – how can you eat something that ugly :-P He also ate puffin while he was there, said it tasted very good…

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