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Home DestinationsDestination: Faroe Islands Foraging and Fine Dining in the Faroe Islands

Foraging and Fine Dining in the Faroe Islands

The Faroese live very close to the land and the sea. In a country where, as they say, you can experience all four seasons in one hour, there is a strong awareness of the climate, and how it interacts with the spectacular landscape and cold sea to produce a very distinctive cuisine.

There is no better place than Koks restaurant to be introduced to not just the food of the Faroe Islands, but to the whole New Nordic movement. Their tasting menu is sublime, on a par with that of any Michelin-starred establishment elsewhere. When Koks tell you that their seafood is fresh, they mean that their sea urchins were caught just an hour before you sat down to dinner. The feeling of eating delicacies that were so recently in their own environment is strangely exhilarating. The sensation is enhanced by the manner in which the food is served – on beds of local rocks, moss and peat, creating wonderfully earthy aromas and a rigorously authentic approach to provenance.

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The mahogany clam and the smoking langoustine on coals appear early on the tasting menu and are highlights of an incredible experience in which selecting highlights is a challenge.

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All the Faroese favourites appear, albeit in clever, modern forms, on the Koks tasting menu. The preserved mutton dish, skerpikjøt, is an acquired taste for the foreign palate. Cloying and musky with an unexpected texture, it works best as almost a coarse pâté on the rustic, unbelievably tasty local bread. Though freshness is of great importance, brining and drying of meat and fish is also a hugely important local tradition. Koks offers panoramic sea views from its simple and lovely dining room. It’s no surprise that it was recently awarded best restaurant in the whole Nordic region.

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Adventure excursion firm RIB 62 can also lay on a wonderful local meal. Passing Schnapps shots and Faroese beers around the table, dried fish, blubber, potatoes and mutton is enjoyed communally, with the waves lapping at the jetty underneath and a resident seal peeping out of the water now and then. This is known as the kalda borðið, or cold table, a cheery and festive meal often used to celebrate guests or a special occasion.

Koks Restaurant

Koks Restaurant

Driving around the island, the large salmon fisheries out on the water become a familiar sight. RIB 62 offer great trips to bird cliffs and caves, where you can work up an appetite flying through the sea spray, and if fortunate, spot another prized traditional food and much-loved symbol of the islands, the puffin.

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Both Koks and RIB 62 are based in or near Tórshavn, the pretty little capital of the Faroes. It’s the perfect place to watch the fishing boats come in with their catch, too. The Blue Sail apartment, in a picturesque setting, is a ten minute drive from Koks or a lovely slightly longer journey along the rugged coastline to RIB 62 headquarters. It’s the ideal location for a holiday rental from which to explore the tastes, sights and scenery of the Faroe Islands.

 

By Phileas French, Travel Writer

Photos courtesy of Phileas French.