Once again, I ordered the tasting menu. This time at Einar Ben. The waitress brought me the first course, a marinated meat over frisee. I took a bite of the meat. It was marinated, and juicy, and tender, and utterly delicious. I didn’t remember there being beef on the menu, so I summoned the waitress.

“What is this?”

“The whale.”

“The whale? Like the fish?”

And as soon as the words were out of my mouth, I wanted with all my might to pull them back, make them not said. I knew a whale was not a fish. I knew it. But for some reason, I thought a whale would taste like other animals from the sea, like fish, for example.

She cocked her head. “No, not like the fish. Like the mammal.”

Mammal, fish, whatever the class. It was the best dish I ate in Iceland.

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