Where there’s Muck there’s Brass

From what I recall the above is expression heralds from Yorkshire in England and so often runs true –  just look at the price of bags of “farmyard manure” which one can use to fertilise the roses in the garden.

It seems the same is true for Iceland. Old Fish heads and the like to be more exact. On driving around the Westfjords region of Iceland we came across the sight of an open wooden structure from which hung the remains of large fish, apparently drying in the wind. We were curious and saw nothing in the guidebook to provide an explanation for this macabre scene. There was only one thing for it –  ask a local.

So when we got back to Isafjordur we asked the hotel staff, wondering what delicacy might come from this (at this point I had already tried petrified shark). Our waiter pulled a sour face at the suggestion that the Icelanders might even eat this,” Oh no, for us this is just waste”. However, it is lapped up in Africa and around 15,000 tonnes are exported  each year, mainly to Nigeria.

Needless to say, we were pleased to get back to the Arctic Lupins.


21 thoughts on “Where there’s Muck there’s Brass

  1. Phoooee 🙂 seriously though ..exporting 15,000 ton to Nigeria that’s a heck of a lot of fish heads.
    Such interesting things you came across on this trip MM


  2. This is interesting, I didn’t know. Fascinating photos, Mick.
    In Norway it’s a rather pretty sight when the fish, mostly cod, is drying outside. Stockfish is Norway’s longest sustained export commodity, and the socioeconomically most profitable export over the centuries. Did you know, stockfish is first mentioned as a commodity in the Icelandic saga “Egilssaga”, when the Chief Torolv Kveldulvssøn in year 875 AD, shipped stockfish from Helgeland in mid Norway to Britain. This product represented most of Norway’s national income from Viking age throughout medieval age. Preserved cod fed Iceland for centuries, to the extent where it has been described as a local equivalent of bread. But to export the vaste…


    1. Thanks for embellishing my humble offering Dina. Of course these days I tend to think of oil when thinking of Norway’s earnings….Hope you had a good weekend whether you all spent it, MM 🍀


    1. It was very different I have to say. They had even hung a couple of dead cormorants or shags in some places to keep the flies away from the fish. It added to the macabre scene. MM 🍀


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