Rotted Shark and Minke Whale on a Reykjavík Food Tour

While it’s fun to say, “Iceland’s diet is all about survival” (and much of it is), it also has a thriving foodie scene. To be sure I was up-to-date on eating in Reykjavík, I enjoyed a movable feast over the course of an evening with Valur, who runs a food tour company called “Your Friend in Reykjavík.” We recommend Valur’s food tours in our Rick Steves’ Iceland guidebook (, and I wanted to personally experience every morsel.

In this clip, you’ll join Valur and me at just one of seven stops during an evening filled with edible memories. This stop highlights some traditional foods. After some tasty “Icelandic lobster” (langoustine) soup, I try minke whale — and Valur explains why Icelanders have no guilt about hunting them. Next up, it’s the notorious rotted shark, which smells like old cheese with ammonia…but is better than poison. (It’s best to wash it down with the local firewater, a.k.a. “black death.”) Much of Iceland’s cuisine certainly is all about survival.




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