14 January, 2006

How to eat skerpikjöt

…for the unenlightened…

This is skerpikjöt (”skerpi” comes from “skerpingur” which means draught or dryness, “kjöt” means meat, so skerpikjöt means dry meat). It’s an old Faroese delicacy, most local residents love. It is made by hangin various parts of sheep up to dry for a length of time (usually a couple of months). If you look closely at the picture you see that the left and right pieces are sheep’s front and hind legs respectively. The taste of skerpikjöt is strong and I really can’t think of anything like it in today’s genetically enhanced, homigeniced fast food culture. Skerpikjöt is, after all, raw meat. Eating it puts you into contact with your Viking roots (even if you don’t have any) and makes you want to rape and pillage. Ok, maybe not the last part. But you truly feel in touch with ancient culture when you eat it.

This is how you eat skerpikjöt.

Take a slice of traditional Faroese rye bread, preferrably freshly baked.

Take knife into hand.

Cover knife in butter.

Transfer butter from knife to slice of bread.

Take skerpikjöt in hand.

Insert knife.

Cut off piece of skerpikjöt.

Cut piece of skerpikjöt into more pieces.

Distribute evenly on slice of bread.

Cut slice in two.

Proceed to eat.

Closeup of skerpikjöt.

You may or may not have heard about the legendary Faroese dish of sheep’s head. Whatever the case, here is a picture:

Arni at 9:13 am