Citizens, some of the most stunningly beautiful scenery on the planet is found on the green and windswept shores of the Faroe Islands! My dear friend Om Malik is preparing to visit this isolated Northern fantasyland, to my great envy and jealousy – as to why, merely see the picture below! I wanted to honor his trip with this entry into the world of TFD!
The Faroe Islands are an island country consisting of an archipelago of small islands between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Norway and Iceland, 320 kilometres (200 miles) north-northwest of Great Britain.
The area is approximately 1,400 square kilometres (541 square miles) with a 2015 population of 48,700. The islands are an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark.
The archipelago is very rugged and has an extremely moderated subpolar oceanic climate that is windy, wet, cloudy and cool year round. In spite of its northerly latitude, temperatures average above freezing year round.
Between 1035 and 1814, the Faroe Islands were part of the Kingdom of Norway. The 1814 Treaty of Kiel granted Denmark control over the islands, along with two other Norwegian regions: Greenland and Iceland.
The Faroe Islands have been a self-governing country within the Danish Realm since 1948. The Faroese have control of most domestic matters; areas that remain the responsibility of Denmark include military defence, police, justice, currency and foreign affairs.
The Faroe Islands were long isolated from the main cultural phases and movements that swept across parts of Europe. This means that they have maintained a great part of their traditional culture.
The language spoken is Faroese and it is one of three insular Scandinavian languages descended from the Old Norse language spoken in Scandinavia in the Viking Age, the others being Icelandic and the extinct Norn, which is thought to have been mutually intelligible with Faroese.
Traditional Faroese food is mainly based on meat, seafood and potatoes and uses few fresh vegetables.
Mutton is the basis of many meals, and one of the most popular treats is skerpikjøt, well aged, wind-dried mutton, which is quite chewy. The drying shed, known as a hjallur, is a standard feature in many Faroese homes, particularly in the small towns and villages.
Other traditional foods are ræst kjøt (semi-dried mutton) and ræstur fiskur, matured fish. Another Faroese specialty is Grind og spik, pilot whale meat, and blubber. (A parallel meat/fat dish made with offal is garnatálg.) Meat and blubber from a pilot whale means food for a long time.
Fresh fish also features strongly in the traditional local diet, as do seabirds, such as Faroese puffins, and their eggs. Dried fish is also commonly eaten.
The Faroese are also very fond of Vaflur, a classic afternoon snack of leavened waffles sweetened with vanilla sugar. TFD prefers to enjoy these treats with birch syrup flavored with a hint of cardamom, in a nod to Norway and its love of the spice. Om, this recipe is for you, my friend!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
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