Smalahove

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Smalahove
Smalahove01.JPG
A serving of smalahove at Voss, Norway
Alternative names
Smalehovud, Skjelte
Type Main course
Place of origin
Norway
Serving temperature
Hot
Main ingredients
Lamb head
Cookbook:Smalahove  Smalahove
Burning the wool off a head

Smalahove (also called smalehovud or skjelte) is a Western Norwegian traditional dish made from a sheep's head, originally eaten before Christmas.[1] The name of the dish comes from the combination of the Norwegian words hove and smale. Hove is a dialectal form of hovud, meaning head, and smale is a word for sheep, so Smalahove literally means sheep head.[2][3] The skin and fleece of the head is torched, the brain removed, and the head is salted, sometimes smoked, and dried. The head is boiled or steamed for about three hours and served with mashed rutabaga and potatoes. It is also traditionally served with Akvavit.[4] In some preparations, the brain is cooked inside the skull and then eaten with a spoon or fried.[5] Originally, smalahove was typically eaten by the poor, but today it is considered a delicacy.

Traditional consumption[edit]

One serving usually consists of one half of a head. The ear and eye are normally eaten first, as they are the fattiest areas and are best eaten warm.[6] The head is often eaten from the front to the back, working around the bones of the skull.

Legality[edit]

Since 1998, an EU directive forbids the production of smalahove from adult sheep,[7] due to fear of the possibility of transmission of scrapie, a deadly, degenerative prion disease of sheep and goats, though scrapie does not appear to be transmissible to humans. It is now only allowed to be produced from the heads of lambs.[4]

Tourism[edit]

Smalahove is considered by some to be unappealing or even repulsive.[6] It is mostly enjoyed by enthusiasts, and is often served to tourists. Because of its status as an "extreme" food, tourists often seek it out as a thrill. Voss, Norway in particular has benefited from tourists wishing to try it, as "not only as a nostalgic and authentic rural dish, but also as a challenging culinary trophy appealing to thrill-seeking consumers."[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Førjulsmat for tøffinger" [Pre-Christmas food for the brave] (in Norwegian). Opplysningskontoret for egg og kjøtt. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Bokmålsordboka/Nynorskordboka". Universitetet i Oslo & Språkrådet. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Bokmålsordboka/Nynorskordboka". Universitetet i Oslo & Språkrådet. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Smalahove portalen" (in Norwegian). dform.no. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Hopkins, Jerry; Bourdain, Anthony; Freeman, Michael (2004). Extreme cuisine: the weird & wonderful foods that people eat. Tuttle Publishing. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7946-0255-0. 
  6. ^ a b Miller-Gadling, Laurel (18 March 2011). "Bizzare European Delicacies". Fox News. Retrieved 12 April 2011. 
  7. ^ Skogstrøm, Lene (1997-08-05). "Nye EU-regler fra 1. januar 1998 skal hindre smitte av skrapesyke og kugalskap: Vil koste flere hundre millioner" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. p. 3. 
  8. ^ Gyimóthy, Szilvia; Mykletun, Reidar Johan (24 June 2009). "Scary food: Commodifying culinary heritage as meal adventures in tourism". Journal of Vacation Marketing 15 (3): 259–273. doi:10.1177/1356766709104271. Retrieved 12 April 2011.