þriðjudagur, janúar 25, 2005

sheep eye for the new guy

We are now in the midst of the Icelandic winter festival of Þorrablót. This coincides with the beginning of the Old Norse month Þorri, which starts between January 19th and 25th. It is traditional during this week to eat the "old foods" that people here enjoyed back in the agrarian day. So there was a small spread at lunch today in the company cafeteria among the sandwich meats, bread, and mixed greens.

I got a little tour of the samplings from coworkers Sigga and Jón Páll and then decided on the sviðasulta. This is basically the singed, diced, and pickled meat from the best part of a sheep: the head. Did someone say, "Good eatin'?" Oh and it's packed together in a kind of gelatinous meatloaf. And served cold. I can't really describe what it was like to eat this, except to say it had a wide variety of textures in each bite, from the sinewy to the Jell-O-like. The sourness made it taste a little better. Kind of like a sour-sheep's-head puddin' pop. Bill Cosby would probably not want to be the spokesman.

I hadn't eaten meat in seven years and now I'm eating sheep-eye paté. To the chagrin of several coworkers, I took a pass on the pickled and sliced ram's testicles. I have to save something for next year.


Anonymous Josh Fed said...

Wendy wants to know why you chose to break your vow of meat celibacy for "sheep head"...

Blogger JB said...

Well it was never a vow, just a 2-week trial period that ended up stretching to 7 years. And I didn't just jump right into the sheep's head - I had been slowly working up to it, starting with something more straightforward they have here (called "hamburgers") back in September. I decided to break the streak because with the one-size-fits-all (and quite tasty) company lunch here, it's nigh unto impossible to be vegetarian. We do have a couple of really good veggie restaurants in town, though.


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