Pengolodh (s.c) (pengolodh_sc) wrote,
Pengolodh (s.c)
pengolodh_sc

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Icky Norwegian food

On the Yahoo!Group HPFGU-OTChatter, a discussion has begun about icky foods from around the world. Not to be outdone by Germans, Americans and other provincials, I looked up some information about how to make that traditional Norwegian dish smalehove (which, thank the gods, is limited to a very small geographic region, far away from where I live), and I felt inspired to post this here for posterity.

SMALEHOVE

The name smalehove stems from the elderly Norwegian noun "smal" (or "smale"),
which means sheep, and the noun "hove", which is a local variation of
the noun "hode", which means head. The principal ingredient of the
dish should thus be apparent to all and sundry.

The dish is prepared as follows:

Pick a healthy-looking, Scrapie-free sheep.

Cut off all the wool (carefully; professional help can be hired in
most circumstances) - save for later, and learn how to knit.

Cut the head off said sheep.

Scorch the remaining wool off the head, while at the same time
grilling the skin to a nice, golden crisp. Take care not to scorch
the skin, however. Automated machines are available that perform
this task.

Wash the head in a washing-machine.

Chop the head (longitudinally) in two pieces.

Remove brain and brain-stem, and clean the nose.

Wash the half heads in a washing-machine.

Boil the half heads for six hours.

Serve with 'taters, mashed Swedes (Danes if Swedes are out of
season) and Akevitt. Lots of Akevitt. Connoisseurs know not to
eat the cartilage of the ear and the black part of the eye.

---

Here's an alternate instruction-manual for smalehove:
* Take a sheep and cut off its head.
* Divide the head in two halves
* Clean the head, i.e., remove the brain and other rubbish lying around inside the head. NB!!!! DO NOT REMOVE THE TONGUE OR THE EYES!!!!!!
* Find a gas burner with a good flame, and scorch the head. Thus you remove the wool, and the head gets its nice brown colour, all in one go.
* Let the head soak in soda-water for 24 hours.
* Wash and scrub the head with a steel brush
* Then put the head in a salt-brine for three days
* Smoke the head

Thus you cook Smalehove:
* Find a big pan and put the head(s) in it.
* Fill the pan with water so that the head(s) is (are) completely covered
* Boil *slowly* for ca. 3 hours
* For the last half hour add Swedes
* Smalahove is served with boiled potatoes and turnips
* Liquid accompaniment should be either Akevitt or potatoes refined at home by methods not entirely legal

Thus you eat Smalehove:
* Almost everything on the head is edible. The only inedible stuff is the skull and the teeth.
* Before eating the tongue, remember to remove the skin. It is not good to eat.
* When you slurp the eyes, you're allowed to leave the little black thing
* The best part is the meat on the chin and below the ears.
* You can get an extra oomph out of the eyes if you allow them to soak for a few seconds in your glas of Akevitt, before you take it all down the hatch.
* Enjoy the food, and not the least the liquid stuff!

(The term Swedes refers to Swedish turnips, or rutabagers, (we call it kålrabi in Norway) if anyone was in doubt)
Tags: food
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