Shark Museum (Iceland)

To go off the beaten track in Iceland, we recommend not to follow the classical ring route, but to concentrate on something less conventional, yet, less crowded. In such a way, we could enjoy Snæfellsnes peninsula – a great destination in Iceland. In addition to seeing a lot of natural wonders, we enjoyed learning even more in the Shark Museum, also located at Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Shark Meat

The Shark Museum

The Shark Museum is located at Bjarnarhofn farm on the northern side of Snaefellsnes peninsula. It is open 9.00-18.00 and the entrance fee is about 8 euros. You may pay extra 2-3 euros for the Icelandic alcohol tasting – it goes well with the shark meat.
The Shark Museum major building is rather small, but contains a lot of artifacts.
Shark Museum

It has been collected by the farmers who have been traditionally fermenting shark meat for years at this farm. The collection includes objects found in the shark stomach, such as seals’ paws, or the shark skin, and teeth.
The collection of Shark Museum

Shark skin

Shark teeth

The excellent guide shows a movie about the farm.

Shark meat

Their major activity is preparing the shark meat. The Greenland shark meat is actually poisonous. Sharks do not have proper kidneys, which is why the urine is always in their body. Its concentration makes the meat inedible, but there is a way to make it edible. Farmers cut the meat, ferment up to 6 months and let it dry open-air for 3 to 4 months. This is how the major part of ammoniac flies away. People found out such an effect occasionally, after strong hunger and trying to eat the shark meat which had been laying around for a while. Nobody died, they tried it again, and understood it would help to survive. Shark meat contains lots of protein, so useful in the cold climate, as well as quite some minerals and vitamins.
Greenland shark meat

Nowadays Icelanders are not starving anymore, and the shark meat becomes a treat for tourists, although a bit of it is exported. It is very expensive, but you may buy 100 grams of it as a souvenir to treat your friends back at home.
The culmination of your tour is degustation of the meat.
shark meat degustation

It goes well with traditional Icelandic vodka, since they may compete for the definition of what is more disgusting. The shark meat tastes like fish dipped in the nail polish remover.
Icelandic vodka

Yet, although you think this is culmination, it is not. To end your visit, you will go to the shed where meat is aired. You may feel the smell of it from really far away.
shark meat storage

shark meat preparation
Now you may officially boast to your friends of having eaten deadly shark meat and continue you way in Iceland. After this, it may seem that you have seen everything and may go back home, via Reykjanes peninsula where the airport is based.

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