The Faroe Islands, a mountainous archipelago two hundred miles north of Scotland, has a landmass of only five hundred and forty square miles, and is sparsely populated with fifty thousand people and seventy thousand sheep. Fermented food is maybe the most important cultural heritage. Among the prominent ingredients are lamb, fish, shellfish, seaweed, and such root vegetables as potatoes and turnips. Thanks to a perfect combination of constant low temperatures and wind, and high concentration of salt in the air, the Faroese developed a salt-free method for preserving meat and fish: ræst. This tradition (which translates to fermentation) involves hanging meat and fish out in the open, then in drying houses, where time and the natural elements work their magic.