Cookbook:Cuisine of Iceland

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Lifrarpylsa: liver sausage, cooking in a pot.
Harðfiskur: wind dried fish.

Þorramatur (Thorramatur, food of the þorri) is a selection of traditional Icelandic food, consisting mainly of meat and fish products cured in a traditional manner, cut into slices or bits and served with rúgbrauð (dense and dark rye bread), butter and brennivín (an Icelandic aquavite). Þorramatur is consumed during the ancient Nordic month of þorri (Thorri), in January and February, particularly at the mid-winter feast of Þorrablót (Thorrablot) as a tribute to old culture. Being thus connected with the tradition of Þorrablót festivals, Þorramatur is most often served as a buffet.



Þorramatur consists of many different foods, including:

  • Kæstur hákarl, putrefied Greenland shark
  • Súrsaðir hrútspungar, the testicles of rams pressed in blocks, boiled and cured in lactic acid
  • Svið, singed and boiled sheep heads, sometimes cured in lactic acid
  • Sviðasulta, head cheese made from svið, sometimes cured in lactic acid
  • Lifrarpylsa (liver sausage), a sausage made from the offal and liver of sheep kneaded with rye flour
  • Blóðmör (blood-fat; also known as slátur, meaning slaughter), a type of blood pudding, which is prepared like lifrarpylsa without the liver and adding blood
  • Harðfiskur, wind-dried fish (often cod, haddock or seawolf), served with butter
  • Rúgbrauð (rye bread), traditional Icelandic rye bread
  • Hangikjöt, (hung meat), smoked and boiled lamb or sheep meat
  • Lundabaggi, sheep’s loins wrapped in the meat from the sides, pressed and cured in lactic acid
  • Selshreifar, seal's flippers cured in lactic acid

During the month of þorri, þorri buffets are quite popular in Iceland where many restaurants in Reykjavík and elsewhere serve þorramatur. It is almost always served on wooden platters, called trog (trough). At these gatherings, Icelandic Brennivín is often consumed in copious amounts.