The name of the dish comes from the combination of the Norwegian words hove and smale. Hove is a dialectal form of hovud, meaning head, and smale is one word for sheep. The skin and fleece of the head is torched, the brain removed, and the head is salted, sometimes smoked, and dried. The head is boiled or steamed for about 3 hours and served with mashed rutabaga and potatoes. It is also traditionally served with aqua vitae (local spiritus). In some preparations, the brain is cooked inside the skull and then eaten with a spoon or fried. Originally, smalahove was typically eaten by the poor, but today it’s considered a delicacy.