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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Reykjavík will stink of fermented skate on 23 December

By Staff

  • Smelly affair Fermented skate, known as kæst skata in Icelandic, is eaten on Þorláksmessa, 23 December. Photo/Pjetur

Þorláksmessa, celebrated on 23 December, is just around the corner and with it comes the smelly tradition of chowing down on some fermented skate, known as kæst skata in Icelandic.


Skata with all the trimmings. 

While enthusiasts for the dish rejoice, others are filled with feelings of dread - there is no escaping the ammonia fumes on Þorláksmessa as the strong-smelling dish is served in many restaurants and homes.

Read more: Fermented skate is a delicacy like no other (it has been described as eating rotten fish)

According to the National Broadcasting Service (RÚV), people increasingly opt to eat skate at restaurants rather than cook it at home. A survey conducted in 2013 revealed that around 100 thousand Icelanders intended to eat skate on Þorláksmessa.

Among restaurants serving skata on Þorláksmessa are Þrír Frakkar (Baldursgata 14), Sægreifinn (Tryggvagata), Restaurant Reykjavík (Vesturgata 2), Múlakaffi (Hallarmúli 1), Sjávarbarinn (Grandagarður), Fjörukráin (Hafnarfjörður), and Kaffivagninn (Grandagarður). If you can’t beat them, join them. 

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