Nordic cuisine is the theme of the joint Nordic stamp issue this year. The Faroese contribution to this issue depicts some of the traditional Faroese specialties which are stored in the so-called "hjallur". This is the Faroese variant of the pantry, a drying shed ventilated by the wind all year round. Hjallurin serves both as cold storage and a setting for various forms of food preservation.
StampNews.com is glad to introduce to our readers' attention this tasty stamp by Faroe Islands Post.
On the stamp's left hand side four hares have been hung up for curing. The hare is the only land mammal hunted by the Faroese. It was introduced in the middle of the 19th century, with its hunting in mind – and hares can now be found on most islands. The hare's reproductive cycle makes it suitable for hunting. They breed three times a year – and it is estimated that each year approximately 7,000 hares are shot.
The stamp also depicts "greipur", which consists of wind-dried fish. Fishes are tied together in pairs, called "greipa", and then hung up in "hjallurin" for drying. At first a certain maturation and fermentation of the fish takes place, lending it a strong flavour. In this first stage the product is called "raestur fiskur", fermented fish which is served cooked.
Fat of either dried or salted whale blubber is used with the fish called "sperðil", a sausage made of sheep's tallow in a bowel, or "garnatálg" which consists of cleansed fermented sheep intestines. The intestines have been cured, then ground and mixed with fresh sheep's tallow. The result is a very strong-tasting tallow which is melted and poured over the dried fish and potatoes.
A principle of the traditional Faroese kitchen is that everything should be utilized to the utmost. Therefore, "mørur" also forms a part of the foodstuffs in the hjallur. Mørur consists of the sheep's intestines and organs and is a part of the traditional diet in the autumn.