Skerpikjøt

Ark of taste
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Skerpikjøt is a type of wind- dried and fermented mutton from the Faroe Islands. Skerpikjøt is meat that has been wind cured and fermented for a long period of time, typically 5 to 9 months, or up to a year if conditions are particularly humid.

The hind legs and the saddle of the mutton are hung out to dry in October, a couple of months later the less meaty parts are cut down. In April, the legs are finally brought in and the meat is ready to eat. Before it becomes Skerpikjøt the mutton goes through two other stages (called visnaður and ræstur) which describe the rate of curing and fermentation and are important in determining the final flavor of the preparation. Sometimes, there is a final stage (turrer) in which cold weather could eliminate the typical smell; in fact Skerpikjøt has a very strong smell, which may upset those who are not accustomed to it. If the weather is warm and wet during the first period, the fermentation process can cause the meat to decay, giving it too strong a taste.

The process of making the Skerpikjøt takes place in the hjallur, a built outhouse that allows wind air flow to aid the drying of the meat. Skerpikjøt is only found for sale on the Faroese country. When the skerpikjøt is ready, it is cut into thin slices and eaten with rye bread as a sandwich.

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Cured meats and meat products

Nominated by:Olga Biskopstø