I said I wasn’t going to blog about the fact that I ate horse meat in Iceland because a.) People who I know and love LOVE horses. Ride them. Own them. b.) I don’t want to offend anyone.
That being said, I’ve been struggling writing about life without sounded a bit too pretentious or vague regarding the big changes I’m hoping are coming to this blog. I’ve been craving penning a light post. So I suppose the fact that I ate horse and fed it to my son, selling it as “steak” to his almost-three year old palate is as light as it can get. Or horrific. Depends on how much you love horsies.
3 Frakkar is an amazing, high rated Icelandic restaurant in Reykjavik that we chose because you could get high quality seafood and authentic Icelandic cuisine. We had no reservation but popped in right at opening on a Sunday evening. We sat in a side room, set up with yummy bread and wine, and while glancing over the menu, there it was:
Grillsteikt Hrossafille með smjörsteiktum sveppum, kartöflubátum og béarnaise sósu eða pipar sósu / Grilled Horse fillet with mushrooms, potato wedges and béarnaise or pepper sauce.
I thought, “Geez I’d have to be pretty drunk or hungry to eat horse.” Continuing on I just couldn’t decide what I wanted. Papa on the other hand was set on consuming some cute little Puffin breast and a main course of Icelandic lamb.
As the waitress approached us for our order, I still was undecided on my choice of main course. Papa ordered his, and as the waitress turned to me, I blurted out, “I’ll have the horse.” Wait what? Horse? What was I thinking???
When our plates were served, I pretended that I was eating steak. If I thought too hard about the fact that I was eating Black Beauty I would gag a bit, and then swallow hard. And then something weird happened. I began to like it. It had a tender, soft texture and the sauce that it was served with was a creamy sauce.
So all kidding aside, the eating of horse was actually banned in Iceland in the 1000′s. Around the 18th century, the Icelandic people were starving and the ban was lifted…. and some (but not all) Icelandic people have been eating horse ever since. Other popular foods in Iceland include boiled sheep head, Hákarl (which the two Swedish men eating at the restaurant described as the worst food they’ve ever consumed), Puffin cheeks and breast, dark rye bread, and the tastiest yogurt I’ve ever had.
So yes, I got a true taste of Icelandic food by way of horse. I’ve had some odd foods in my day, including alligator and beef nostrils, but horse takes the cake. Or steak. Hum. And I’m okay with that, just probably won’t do that again. Ever.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten??