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Do you have any puffin?

10th January 2008

So, I’m doing a lot more cooking these days, and learning about food rather than just eating it. My kitchen confidence has taken a knock over the last few years, but I’m back. Anyway, as part of this belly-pleasing pursuit, and to satisfy my desire to recreate some of the amazing meals I ate whilst living in Iceland, I tracked down a book called Icelandic Food and Cookery, which looks great.

However, I think that getting hold of many ingredients the book lists will be tricky. I’m wondering, where in Nottingham can I buy bog bilberries, guillemot, moss, horsemeat, ptarmigan, puffin, reindeer, rutabagas or razorbill? Hmm, perhaps I’ll switch the sea and game birds for some free range chicken.


# Kate Bolin responded on 10th January 2008 with...

Rutabagas are swedes, just under a wackier name, like eggplant and snowpeas and zucchini.

I’m sure you can find bilberries around when they’re in season—I could swear my mother-in-law used them at least once.  Or bought the jam. I can’t remember.

And you could come out to Netherfield and try the Lidl if all else fails.  I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if they had frozen horse meat or canned razorbill.

# Simon responded on 10th January 2008 with...

Surely you’ve just got to substitute in local produce… maybe puffin can be translated into pidgeon? We’ll know if market square goes mysteriously pidgeon-free in 2008!

P.S. You’re not going to be burying shark fin in your back garden are you?

# Richard Rutter responded on 10th January 2008 with...

I can get you some free range herring gull. There’s masses of the bastards down here, no-one will miss a few. Trouble is they’ve been fed on kebabs, chips and potato peelings.

# Jeremy Keith responded on 11th January 2008 with...

I have that book. Brian Suda brought it over from Iceland for Jessica and myself. We haven’t cooked anything from it yet though. As you point, it’s somewhat hard to get hold of the ingredients.

# Simon Collison responded on 11th January 2008 with...

Kate: I feel stupid now, not realising that a rutabaga is just a humble Swede. Oh, and I love the idea of getting tinned razorbill from the supermarket. Lidl by Lidl, gave you everything you ever dreamed of…

Simon: I’m surprised that there is no recipe for the rotten shark in the book, but then again all they do is kill it and bury it in sand for a few months anyway. Once it is totally rotten they eat it. The best stuff is the lamb’s head cheese, which I had during Thorrablot once. Tasty.

Richard: I imagine you have a classier breed of Herring Gull in brighton than I’d get at Skegness, so yes please.

Jeremy: Well, my cuisine-aware friend, if I manage to get any of the ingredients (I’m thinking of asking a friend to post me a box of birds) then I shall pass some on to you.

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