Driving Iceland’s majestic new Diamond Circle loop

Why do Iceland’s Golden Circle when you can have the Diamond version instead? Damien Gabet drives north in the land of fire and ice

Thursday 24 June 2021 14:33
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<p>The 250km driving loop offers breathtaking scenes</p>

The 250km driving loop offers breathtaking scenes

Ammonia on the nose. Rubbery comte texture. Funny fishy taste. It seems odd that eating neat little cubes of fermented Greenland shark should be a highlight of my trip to north Iceland. Perhaps it was the fact that in doing so I can now claim to be a proud member of The Rotten Shark Club of Hauganes.

Or maybe it was down to Elvar Reykjalin, its president and my tour guide of the small factory where the stuff is made. His madcap ebullience brought the experience to life, taking me on a deep-dive into Iceland’s fishy history. One fact stood out: these sharks – eaten in very small quantities – are toxic.

“Oh good,” I thought, forcing down the second lump. “But don’t worry, the fermentation makes it edible,” he said with comic timing. The accompanying local-berry schnapps proved a welcome digestif.

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