In the middle of the North Atlantic, snuggled between Iceland and Norway, you’ll run into the often forgotten, yet mystical Faroe Islands. Being slabbed right in the middle of nowhere, the Faroe Islands’ food selection is low on imports but heavy on raw products. The Faroe Islands’ rugged environment and often stormy weather means there’s little in terms of cattle and produce (despite being quite robust and the most nutritious of the arctic) and a stronger emphasis on seafood.
Spending time at the Faroe Islands, specifically in the world’s smallest capital of Tórshavn, you will come to learn it takes a bit of a…tough tongue to enjoy Faroese cuisine.
Meats are generally dried out and often boiled to create a somewhat tasteless affair? Hope you enjoy counting sheep while you sleep because that’s practically 90% of the land meat available here. And if you’re down for some real childhood revenge against Lamb Chops’ sing-a-long, try the Faroese treat Skerpikjøt, which are dried-out, fermented shanks of sheep. Usually eaten as part of a sandwich, its best to think of it as ham, but without the fun. Or taste. Or happiness.
Oh that repugnant smell? Oh that’s not the meat. Actually it is, and it’s strong as hell. If not dried out for just the right amount of time, Skerpikjøt can be smelly and tasteless, or just smelly and spoiled. Think of it as a guessing game as to what the local bum down by the bus station would taste like if you decided to lick him. Might we add, this is considered a treat in the Faroe Islands. Hate to see what they serve in prison here.
Though let’s get to the real action of coming to the Faroe Islands…and that’s whale meat. Oh lovely, blubberous whale meat. So plump and magical. It’s the only place in the world where you can happily eat Free Willy and not have anyone look at you like you’re Jeffrey Dahmer. Oh what a wonderful delight it is to eat the largest mammal on the planet – thick and juicy, just plump and prime for the tastebuds.
That is…until you put it in your mouth…
Wow does eating whale blow. If you wanted to know what its like to suck the dirtiest, most unwashed dog in the world, congratulations this is your lucky day.
Whale meat in the Faroe Islands is generally (like everything else) dried-out to a T. Imagine a rubbery, chewy-tough texture, and behold – you now have whale on your buds. Bordering between tasteless and cardboard, whale meat can also be served boiled for a bonus-vomit taste, or grilled in a steak format for an extra guilt trip. But make no mistake, anyway you serve it – IT TASTES FRICKIN AWFUL.
It what can be best described as eating a slightly tenderous form of beef jerky, but leaning more on jerky, blubber has a very acrid if not parse taste. While served with other pairings or condiments, to the unaccustomed tongue, whale meat can actually makes them taste worse.
While the hype (or shame) of eating whale meat can be alluring for many, for food enthusiasts its an incredibly lackluster experience, void of joy. Even worse, scientists now claim that pilot whales have been affected so much by pollution in the Atlantic Ocean that their kidneys and practically contaminated with mercury, PCB and dioxin.
Who needs being looked down upon by your friends for eating Moby Dick when you can splendor in its shitty taste and now poisonous after effects?!
There are plenty of reasons to go to the Faroe Islands. Nature, isolation, peace. And yes believe it or not, the food. The Faroe Islands has some of the best sushi in the world and its chef’s preparations of cod is some of the most underrated in the Atlantic.
Trust us, whale meat isn’t a good reason. But if you want to see blubber so bad…this faroese scientist will gladly trade you these 30 seconds of his life