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Ask A Scientist: The Indestructible Aftertaste Of The Icelandic Hot Dog

Ask A Scientist: The Indestructible Aftertaste Of The Icelandic Hot Dog

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Grapevine Archives

Published September 10, 2018

It’s your first visit to Iceland and people won’t shut up about the famed Icelandic hot dog that you simply must try—and so you do. For the rest of the day, all you can taste is that hot dog, no matter what you eat, and no matter how much you brush your teeth. Why? What makes the aftertaste of the Icelandic hot dog so persistent and tenacious?

We asked Óli Þór Hilmarsson, a research scientist for Icelandic Food and Biotech (MATÍS), to solve this mystery and offer tips for getting rid of that lingering hot dog taste.

“The persistent flavour of the Icelandic hot dog has nothing to do with the preservatives in it. Rather, it comes from the fact that the hot dogs are smoked, usually with oak and other woods. It also happens to be fatty and salty. When you combine these three factors, it leads to this taste staying in your mouth the whole day. One experiences something similar when eating other smoked meats, such as hangikjöt. It is, in fact, possible to get rid of this aftertaste. For best results, you can drink tea or coffee. Eating a green apple has also been recommended.”

So there you have it: if you like hot dogs, but not enough to taste them all day, chase that ein með öllu with a juicy green apple. You’re welcome.

Read more “Ask A…” here.


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