Icelandic pizzeria nods to pagan tradition by serving sheep’s head as special topping

On a bed of arugula and carrot slices, an Icelandic pizzeria has laid out an ordinary topping for their new, seasonal pizza: a sheep’s head boiled in stout beer.

the pinnacle itself is laced with a smoked chili barbecue sauce that plays up the animal’s flavour — more than when it is traditionally been served for Thorrablot, the midwinter meals pageant celebrating Iceland’s pagan history.

and that’s the reason for the reason that sauce contains another juicy element — sheep dung.

“It Is truly delicious. I imply, it has to be tasted to have the ability to explain it,” Laufey Sif Larusdottir, the owner of Olverk Pizza and Brewery in Hveragerdi informed As It Happens host Carol Off.

She said that during Thorrablot, Icelanders historically devour sheep’s head besides as fermented shark, whale blubber, ram’s testicles and blood pudding to honour pagan gods (think Thor) and males.

“It’s mainly our form of Valentine’s Day,” Larusdottir stated. “We Might supply those sorts of meals to all the husbands and flora and cake. after which on Women’s Day, one month in time, we can get flowers and something else.”

we offer gloves with this meal- Laufey Sif Larusdottir, owner of Olverk Pizza and Brewery

However this, she says, is the primary time that the festive sheep’s head is being served on a pizza as opposed to a platter. The pizzeria owner needs this to be the start of a brand new custom for young, city Icelancers who’ve grown except the custom.

“it is a visceral enjoy,” she stated. “A scent, a style … it stirs a lot of feelings.”

Larusdottir’s pizza is meant to appear like a sheep laying in a field of grass. However it’s not so transparent easy methods to consume it.

“we provide gloves with this meal,” she said. “i don’t know about you, but we don’t use cutlery when we’re consuming pizza, so we roughly just rip.

“We shred off the head and we, like, positioned it around the pizza and then we flip it and eat it.”

She says Icelanders can eat everything of the sheep, except its bones. 

Icelandic pizzeria nods to pagan tradition by serving sheep's head as special topping

Laufey Sif Larusdottir, left, is the owner of Olverk Pizza and Brewery. (Submitted by means of Laufey Sif Larusdottir)

“People might be nipping at the eye. Tasting the tongue. but the most juicy part is going from the chin and down the jaw, as much as the ear,” she mentioned.

All The Way Through Iceland’s current wave of the COVID pandemic, the sheep-face pizza may be Larusdottir’s take at a safer alternative to the yearly buffets of Thorrablot. Other People don’t seem to be website hosting large gala’s anymore, however the pizza offers them an opportunity to reserve take-out and have a good time at house.

“We sold quite a couple of,” she mentioned. “We also had a couple of are available in and eat it with a really perfect appetite.”

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With all the attention this pizza has gotten, she’s taking into account bringing it again to Olverk Pizza and Brewery for another special day. In All Probability in the fall, when farmers round up their sheep from the vast highlands, or during the harvest season.

“It Is barbaric for us to seem at, i must admit,” Larusdottir stated. “But it’s our tradition. it is a just right experience.”

Written by Mehek Mazhar. Interview with Laufey Sif Larusdottir produced by way of Chris Harbord.

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