Culture

Mortan Johannesen: The man who transmits the essence of the Faroe Islands to the world

Local markets in the Faroe Islands are AMAZING! If you are planning a trip to the Faroes, then this is the perfect place for you; the markets are full of locals, they have fresh products, and there is always a person who is willing to talk more about the country, the culture and its traditions.

This is the case of Mortan Johannesen, a Faroe Islander who became a sailor at the age of 27 years old and who dedicated his life to be a fishing captain. Now, at the age of 76, Mortan has decided to bring his passion for the Faroese cuisine to a local market in the main harbor in Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands.

Mortan buys fish from local fisherman and he then prepares them to sell them in the harbor. He mainly sells boiled fish balls, fried fish balls, air-dried fermented fish, cod tongue, cod cheeks, whale meat, blubber and fresh fish (knettir, frikadellir, ræstan fisk, lippur & kjálkar).

Usually, many tourists approach Mortan and ask him if they can take pictures of the products that he is offering. Mortan is very friendly and is very much so willing to provide a description of the products.

The customers of Mortan are very diverse – locals as well as tourists. According to Mortan, it is very common that people from Denmark who are traveling on the ferry (Norrøna) buy his products and take them with them back to Denmark.

“Around 60-70% of the whale meat and blubber is sold to tourists,” Mortan adds, rather interestingly.

He used to prepare all the food at his home with the help of his wife. Unfortunately, she passed away 6 months ago. However, his friends and family visit his shop on a regular basis and cherish him and his business.

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