Harðfiskur is a traditional delicacy accessible in stores and gas stations in Iceland. Today the harðfiskur(Hard fish) we eat is manly filets, but in the early days the whole fish and heads were dried. To be able to consume it you needed to hammer the fish and take your time to eat it. But it was worth the hard work. Smear a little butter on it and you had the most tasteful and healthy snack there is to be found. About 80% protein and lots of good fat such as omega 3. This product gave the Nordic people the possibility to sail far distances, lightweight source of protein
and no need to refrigerate.
When toddlers in Iceland were teething it was popular to let them chew on a piece of dried fish, now parents get some imported plastic stuff instead
Icelanders love this Viking snack. For the delicate pallet of our foreign guests, it has a fishy taste that takes a while to adjust to. Asian people have told me that they have a similar fish, the dried squid but there it is usually cooked instead of eating it straight from the racks as we do.
If you want to try this at home you need:
Wood to make the bracket, put it up preferably close to a good sea breeze tie 2 filets of cod together by the tail and hang it over the bracket, not to close to the ground so the cats and dogs want be able to reach it. Before hanging up the fish, dip into fresh ocean water. It might wary but for us the benefit from the cold is: there are not too many flies. So in your area make sure that you hang up the fish before the flies wake up.
We highly recommend on your next visit to try this delicacy.