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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Canadian TV chef Matty Matheson shoots an episode in Iceland, loved the charred sheep's head

By Staff

  • Charred Sheep's heads The most authentic and original street food available in Iceland, made up of a sheep's head, cut in half and charred, and finally boiled in water. Best charred sheep's heads in downtown Reykjavík are at the BSÍ drive-through. Photo/Fréttablaðið

The charred sheep's heads at BSÍ in downtown Reykjavík are great, the Canadian TV chef Matty Matheson argues, and the fermented shark not as "disgusting" as he had expected. The Canadian chef was in Iceland for a few days shooting an episode for his VICE series Dead Set on Life. 

Matty visited the restaurant Dill, which was recently received a Michelin star, becoming the first Icelandic restaurant to be recognized by the prestigious restaurant guide. But he also tried out more traditional foods, like charred sheep's heads at the BSÍ drive-through in downtown Reykjavík. "They were delicious, really good!" he told vísir.

Read more:  Anthony Bourdain on eating the Icelandic “delicacy” fermented shark: “never again”

He also tasted fermented shark, which was "just ok". He said the shark wasn't as bad as he had expected, "I think it's something you need to eat your whole life to be able to appreciate. ... It was by no means disgusting, as many seem to think." He added that he had tasted cheeses which have a far more potent taste than the fermented shark. 

When asked about the Icelandic hot dogs ha admitted that he had also visited the famous downtown hot dog stand Bæjarins Beztu, but was unable to say whether it served better hot dogs than other hot dog stands or gas stations in Iceland. "But I guess it's one of those things you have to do while in Iceland."

Read more: Guide: The street food of Reykjavík - Not just hot dogs anymore

We at Iceland Magazine agree with Matty on all accounts. The shark is by no means as disgusting as people like to claim. Sure, it smells of ammonia, but the taste is nowhere nearly as potent as the smell. The correct words to describe the shark is "interesting" and "potent", rather than disgusting!

We would also like to agree that the charred sheep's heads at the BSÍ drive through are really good. Too few foreign visitors take the time to traditional Icelandic charred sheep's heads: It is the most original and authentic street food you can get in Iceland!

And finally, the hot dogs: Matt is absolutely correct when he says the hot dogs at Bæjarins Beztu are not very different from those you get at any gas station or rest stop around the Ring Road. If the hot dog stand is serving the correct condiments (especially SS Pylsusinnep mustard and Gunnars remulade) your hot dog will taste as it should!

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