Faroese cuisine

The traditional Faroese cuisine has developed over the centuries due to the difficult conditions of an inhospitable archipelago in the North Atlantic.

Most important native food sources for the traditional cuisine are the:

  • Fishing ( both inshore and inland fisheries)
  • Pilot Whales
  • Faroese birdlife (especially puffins, guillemots and fulmars as well )
  • Sheep, but also cows (and dairy products), geese and chickens
  • Potatoes, turnips and rhubarb as relatively easy to cultivate plants

In addition, snow bunnies are hunted, which proliferate wildly since 1855. But since it is estimated that only 5,000 copies are in the Faroe Islands, it is a relatively exclusive affair, which takes place only for hunting season in November and December.

Good appetite is called VAEL gagnist ( lit. well bekomms ). They say there are basically even if you enter a room where people dine. At the end of a meal you thanks with manga takk (thank you ). In response, one hears again VAEL gagnist.

In the diary of Mary expedition of 1854 states:


Even in the age of the freezer fish and meat are preserved in the Faroe Islands in the traditional Hjallur ( an air-permeable timber shed, which also prepared dishes are kept cool ), then they are turrur ( dried). Depending on the duration of this process of air drying different stages can be distinguished:

  • Ræstur ( hung, semi-dry ) is the meat or the fish at the beginning of fermentation (or fermentation).
  • Skarpræstur ( depended sharp ) these pieces after 6-9 months of storage. You then have a very strict taste, which may seem strange to outsiders.
  • Bleytræstur or visnað (only depended briefly dried ) - the exact opposite of skarpræstur and usually referred to only one state of the fish, while sheep in general should be at least ræstur.

Aufgeschnittene sheep are usually hung in one piece. Birds are cut in the back and tied together in pairs. Also fish hanging in pairs on the towel rack (stockfish ). Grind is cut into strips and wrapped around the towel rack.

Risks of air drying are:

  • Plummeting cold - the desired rast - stage is skipped
  • Unusual heat - the meat is rancid
  • Fly - their maggots spoil the meat

Another method of preservation is salting, either in brine or dry. Both happened in barrels, but salt was once a scarce commodity and was used primarily for the processing of dried cod, which was exported.


Certainly can fish in addition to the above-mentioned stockfish stadiums, salted dry as dried cod or salt fish in a brine salted, be feskur, so freshly caught. It can be found in Faroese grocery stores but hardly because it is sold directly from the cutter away at the harbor, or given away in the family circle.

The fish of the Faroese high seas fleet, however, is processed on board the trawler or the fish factories on land ( filleted and frozen) and is intended for export.

Fiskaknettir are fish balls, which are made with fresh haddock and sheep tallow. A specialty are the rognaknettir roe.

From the fish dumplings and a soup is cooked, which is called knettasúpan. A soup made ​​of fresh fish is called fisksúpan.

There are also fish cakes, the hot frikadellur or fiskabolli.

The fiskakøka is a fish cake or pudding.

The following types of fish are common in the Faroe Islands: HYSA ( haddock), høgguslokkur (squid, also favorite food Grindwals ), Kalvi ( halibut ), kongafiskur ( redfish) laksur ( salmon), makrelur ( mackerel), seiður (Kohler ) sild ( herring ), toskur ( cod ) and tunga ( witch ). Common crustaceans are hummar (lobster ) and rækja (shrimp).


The pilot whale has always been one of the major food sources of the islanders. The grindadráp ( the Grindwaljagd ) is often seen by outsiders as barbaric, while the Faroese like to ask those outsiders who loaded the sea with heavy metals such that now a daily pleasure for health reasons is no longer recommended.

Tvøst above Spik ( pilot whale meat and bacon, and seal blubber ) are considered especially nutritious and rich in vitamins - at the same time as one of the most inexpensive products because the scab is not usually traded, but is distributed according to an ancient key within the population. Accordingly, you can hardly find it in supermarkets, but usually only in freezers (or Hjallur ) of about 16,000 households.

Salt Grind is cooked and salted pilot whale meat, which is usually served with potatoes and mustard.

Grindabúffur is a pilot whale steak with white sauce and potatoes.

Hammershaimb wrote in 1891 in his anthology:

Next, he describes how all parts of Wales are utilized, the bacon is not only dried and salted, but also melted down to Tran, who served as fuel for oil lamps in the windowless Roykstova. From the stomach turned to the so-called kýkur ago, a bag for storage of Trans, while from the Finn leather straps were made ​​which served to secure the rudder in the typical Färöboot.

However, a pilot is always random and can not be predicted, especially since the Faroese not find him in the open sea, but wait until times swims a school in a fjord and apply all conditions. Grind had ( and still has today ) the function of a welcome free dietary supplement while you can rely safely on the rich fish and Seabird own livestock and arable.


Seabirds with the fleygastong ( " bird-catching pole " ) are traditionally still trapped in the bird mountains. The most popular ( and tastiest ) is the Lundi ( Puffin ).

Fyltur lundi is filled with a flour dough and raisins Lundi. But also to find the havhestur fulmar and guillemot lomvigi in the Faroese cuisine.

In addition, the eggs of sea birds, which are obtained by Nestplünderung.


The Faroe Islands have always been pasture for up to 70,000 sheep. This was already regulated in the sheep letter from 1298. The Faroese wool has always been an important export, while the meat was enough for the supply of approximately 1400 to 1800 constant 4-5000 inhabitants. The abolition of the trade monopoly over the Faroe Islands in 1856, deep-sea fishing became important and permitted not only the advances in medicine, a significant population increase ( tenfold in 200 years ). Therefore, sheep meat must be imported today.

Best-known specialty is the seyðahøvd ( sheep's head ). He can be seen quite well in the freezers of supermarkets " in the eye". What may scare the tourists at the sight, is a feast for special occasions for the locals. After the skin of the head was burned off, it is washed and either stored or equal halved. After about half an hour cooking time it is eaten down to the bone (see also: SVID ).

Everyday is the skerpikjøt (about 6-9 months air-dried mutton ). The adult sheep to be slaughtered in the autumn. Corned mutton called soltukjøt.

Sheep are 100% recycled, and so are skólpasúpan ( testicles soup, also means eistnasúpan, nossasúpan, purrusúpan ) and blóðpylsa (blood sausage) completely normal. Another sausage called sperðil, it consists of offal and sheep tallow and is a typical Christmas dinner.

Sheep meat is called general seyður ( like the animal ), a ram or ram is a veðrur (also heraldic animal of the Faroes ) and a lamb called lamb.


The potato ( the EPLI ) is one of the main products of the Faroese agriculture. It was introduced only in the 19th century. Previously dominated the rutabaga. The Faroese dictionary devoted a page of dozens of keywords that have to do with potatoes, including various dishes that run under the term eplamatur (potato dish). Here mention the eplasúpan (potato soup) and the eplasalat ( potato salad ), in addition to the usual function as an accompaniment to meat and fish. Many rural families provide themselves with potatoes from our own field, the eplabøur. The harvest season falls in August - just that time, where is also to be expected most Grind.

The Faroese rhubarb ( the rabarba ) plays a more important role. It is grown in rabarbugarður, the domestic rhubarb garden. In contrast to rhubarb on the continent it is substantially free of oxalic acid. Rabarbugreytur ( rhubarb porridge ) is a popular dessert, and rabarbusúltutoy ( rhubarb jam ) belongs to the Faroese breakfast table. A rhubarb soup called rabarbusuppa, and there is even a rabarbuvín ( rhubarb wine).


As in other countries, there are three main meals in the Faroe Islands

  • Morgunmatur ( Lunch ) by about 9-10 clock. Formerly a round unleavened bread was to drýlur roykstova baked in the. This often pieces of well hung sheep meat are served, cut into thin slices. Before lunch there for the working people of the Abit ( breakfast) with bread and milk, and often the leftovers from dinner the previous day.
  • Døgurði ( hot lunch ) by about 14-15 clock. In general, there are then cooked fish, tvøst and spik, or seabirds. Since the introduction of potatoes as a side dish, these are of course included.
  • Náturði ( dinner) after 21 clock. Between lunch and dinner still is the millummáli ( Snack, formerly with a slice of bread, today coffee and cake). The dinner consisted mostly of earlier gruel. When a cow has calved, there was kalvedans, a raw milk pudding. Bread was not for dinner, instead we ate dried fish to the soup.

From the Daily Quantity ago there was talk earlier of mannsverður (man value): the daily ration for an adult. It corresponds to one of the 20 parts of a sheep, or a guillemot, razorbills two, or even three puffins. For girls was considered Verdur 2 puffins, or half a slice of the twentieth of a sheep. End of the 19th century The first Faroese feminist Helena Patursson advocated that girls as well as boys get good food.

The following season for fresh meat is known in the Faroe Islands:

  • Veal time (New Year to Spring)
  • Bird time
  • Lambing
  • Time of slaughter ( of sheep in autumn)


Every household had at least two pots of food preparation:

  • One for traniges and greasy meat
  • One for all other foods

We ate from three different wells:

  • Fish trough
  • Meat trough
  • Snyktrog or grindatrog for Grind and other fatty, food tranige

In the Roykstova there was still next to large ladle or wooden spoon ( sleiv ) skimmers ( soðspón ) and other sticks for stirring porridge ( greytarsneis ) and for whipping cream or milk - whisk ( Tyril ).

A special feature of neufäröischen language is the derivation of the word tyrla for this very Tyril. It means helicopter.


There is no great tradition in the Faroe Islands, to eat, especially as it provides itself.

Restaurants there used essentially only in the hotels of the Faroe Islands. For their Faroese specialties and the hotel Hotel Hafnia Tórshavn Føroyar are still known today. Also the hotel Norð in Viðareiði is considered a leader in puffins dishes. In recent years, more and more independent restaurants made ​​on that offer next to the snacks but rather international / Danish-French cuisine. But even in the offer of fast food restaurants there Faroese features. The hot dog is served with red cabbage, for example, as will be waived principle in Denmark.

In addition, so-called Faroe evenings are organized for visitors, where there is, aside from all folklore also typical Faroese food, as described above. Outside the Faroe Islands there is only the Faroe houses in Copenhagen and Aarhus with Faroese cuisine, which is aimed primarily at their own countrymen.

At least the fish and rhubarb dishes can be anywhere but easily try at home ( see below).