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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Stores run out of rams' testicles, other traditional þorrablót treats

By Staff

  • Yummy! Traditional Icelandic treats. Foods were preserved with fermentation or by storing them in sour whey. These treats are an acquired taste, to put it mildly. Photo/Pjetur

Icelandic grocery stores and meat producers ran out of rams testicles and several other traditional treats consumed during the Þorrablót winter feasts. In addition to a shortage of rams testicles, stores ran out of several other traditional foods. Blóðmör, a type of Icelandic blood sausage/haggis sold out, and several foods which have been preserved in sour whey. Manufacturers report a 5-15% increase in sales of traditional fermented and sour foods.  

Growing popularity of traditional foods

Popularity of traditional Icelandic midwinters feasts has been growing in recent years. The local newspaper Morgunblaðið reports that the two largest manufacturers of traditional Icelandic foods, the meat processors Sláturfélag Suðurlands and Kjarnafæði both ran out of some of the essentials of Þorrablót feasts. The companies had expected sales to increase slightly from 2016, but had not expected a jump in sales. The companies cannot meet the increase by producing more, as it takes months to prepare sour and fermented foods. The preparation of the rams' testicles, for example, begins in September.

Read more: Want to know what you are eating at an Icelandic Þorrablót? Here's your answer!

Þorrablót feasts are held during the month of Þorri, which was the fourth month of winter, according to the old Icelandic calendar. Tomorrow, February 17 is the last day of Þorri. The fifth month of winter, Góa begins on Sunday. According to an old tradition the weather on the first days of Góa foretold summer: Bad weather and storm on the first day of Góa was believed to announce a good and warm summer.

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