Traditional and much-loved sheep’s head dishes unite people from as far apart as South Africa, Norway, Morocco, Iceland, Kazakhstan,
It is so popular in Iceland that there is even the “Fljótt og Gott” (“Fast and Good”) caféteria at the BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavík, it is available daily, and can be bought at the drive-thru counter.
The café sells about 10,000 sheep’s heads a year, the chef is quoted in Wikipedia as saying.
Some Icelanders believe eating that svio (sheep’s head) is a good hangover cure.
In Morocco the tradition is to steam the head.
Sheep’s heads are eaten across much of Africa, where it is traditional to consume animals from snout to tail.
In South Africa sheep’s heads (smileys) can be seen for sale on the side of the road in may former townships.
There the head is simply grilled over the open fire.
And that’s the way the people of the Sundays River Valley like it.
Since 2013 there has been a special “skaapkop tafel” on the Sunday where up to 150 lovers of traditional South African food can tuck in to a specially prepared skaapkop.
More recently the Skaapkop langtafel brought to you by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency
And to prove it this year the trend-setting festival is hosting a Skaapkop Langtafel, with seating limited to 150 – “and they are selling fast. The langtafel has really caught the imagination of sponsors and festival-goers,” she says.
This year’s table is being sponsored by the Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RMPO) and the ATKV I partnership with the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency.
Aficionados are always on hand to help those who are new to the tradition to savour the different parts in the correct order, with each taste building on the other.
A sheep’s head, we are assured, tastes best when carved up with your own pocket knife.