My revery was interrupted by the crunch of tire on gravel and the hiss of a coach door. Americans. The inside of the museum room was a surreal cornucopia of hunting equipment, boats, wood beams, bones and shark jaws, traditional clothing, paintings of boats and mountains, and even a stuffed seal. It was completely full, so much that the eye never really rested on anything but got more of a general idea. We watched a video that divulged facts with English dubbing.
Traditionally the huge, lumbering Greenland sharks that drift the deep waters of the north are caught, beheaded and gutted and buried in a shallow hole and covered with sand and gravel. Stones are placed on top to press the body, thus squeezing out the fluids. Depending on the season the fish ferments for 6-12 weeks. After fermentation, the shark is taken out, cut into strips, and hung out to dry.
This odd process is a necessary evil, as the ancient sharks are full of poisonous urea and trimethylamine oxide so the fermentation and ageing made it safe for old-world Icelanders to eat.
Then came the foodie moment of truth. Time to try one of the most legendary weird foods. A young man, I think he was the owners son, Guðjón, came out with a tray of shots and a little plastic pot full of little pasty, chalky-yellow chunks of shark.