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It’s that day again!

… You know which day I mean. It’s… EAT-PUTRID-SKATE-DAY!!

Yes, dear readers, this is the day when homes and neighbourhoods throughout the country are filled with the, ahem, pungent aroma of putrid skate, which to the uninitiated may best be described as a cross between urine and ammonia. Sound horrific? Yes, but according to the front page of Fréttablaðið today, eating putrid skate actually cures colds and increases your libido. The first one I’ll buy – even just entering a room where putid skate is being prepared will bring tears to your eyes and clear your sinuses in a second. In fact, two years ago EPI was ill with the flu on this day, but after some coercing schlepped himself over to his brothers’ place [a stone’s throw away] where YT was living it up at their annual Putrid Skate Party. Sure enough, by the very next day EPI was fit as a fiddle [whereas YT was feeling exceedingly poorly – but by then all the putrid skate was gone, so I couldn’t use it as a cure, alas]. – As for the libido bit, weeellll… methinks those Alpha Males of the West Fjords do flatter themselves just a tiny bit.

Evidently, eating putrid skate originates from the West Fjords, where [they say] the wealthier members of society [all five-or-so of them] fed their workers putrid skate on Þorláksmessa [St. Thorlák’s Mass – which is today] so that anything would taste better to them until the next Þorláksmessa. I’m sure they never envisioned that it would become a nationwide, er… delicacy or – at the very least – provide occasion for folks to get together and down some seriously potent Akvavit, which you need to be able to imbibe the stuff.

Incidentally, the skate is actually made putrid by placing it in a sealed plastic container for over a month. They claim this was once a preservation method, but hey. Surely there are better ways of preserving stuff than to make it go rotten – wouldn’t you say?

At any rate, I shall be attending EPI’s brother and sister-in-law’s annual skate party this evening and shall be sure to bring my camera for your subsequent viewing pleasure. In the meantime, here is last year’s report.

Oh and by the way, it’s also my birthday today. What I want? Same thing I want every day: Peace on Earth, and a comment.

Just a hint of a breeze, 5°C, sunrise was at 11.22 and sunset is at 15.31.

PS. you can see a video of a putrid skate party here, held by the amazing Sægreifinn [The Sea Baron – also interviewed] who I am resolved to devote a separate post to soon. This guy is a national treasure.



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