Is Iceland’s Fermented Shark Meat Really The Most Disgusting Food In The World?

Sharkshack resized

Driving around Iceland in winter, you wonder how anyone could have settled such a barren* island before the invention of greenhouses and electricity and reliable international trade. I knew the sun-deprived December landscape would be misleadingly gloomy during my brief visit — they get a concentrated summer full of sun, after all — but Iceland sure doesn’t look like a place conducive to salads and fruit smoothies. (*Fun fact: you wouldn’t know it now, but the island used to be covered in trees. Humans just broke them all, as we do. Currently, however, Iceland is making up for tree genocide by planting more per person than any other country). Clearly, the diet of such a place was always going to consist largely of meat, fish especially. But even off the snowy glaciers and volcanic highlands, the extreme conditions around the island are gonna make fishing excursions in the dark of winter fairly treacherous. Like any culture around the world — those in equally inhospitable climates and those not — early Icelanders developed methods for preserving precious food through hard times. And mostly, that means fermentation.

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Five Ways to Become a Better Drinker in 2015

Written by Franz Hofer for Tempest in a Tankard

A belated Happy New Year to all ye faithful Tempest readers! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season filled with plenty of good cheer.

It’s been a few weeks now, but I’m back at it after my Kentucky adventures tracking the shy and retiring Pappy and the increasingly elusive Weller.IMG_2231 For this, my first post of 2015, I’m going to share some tips that have helped me become a better drinker over the years. No, not the “Dude! I just slammed ten tequilas and I’m just getting started” kind of drinker, but a more informed and engaged beer enthusiast.

Tasting beer, wine, saké, and spirits is one of life’s more enjoyable rituals, but it’s also an aptitude you can hone with a bit of practice. True, some people have a keener sense of smell than others, and some people have a more refined palate. But despair not! A modicum of attention to what you’re drinking and how you’re drinking it cannot help but enhance your enjoyment and appreciation of what’s in your glass.

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