My biggest passion aside from food is to travel. Since I know many of you share this passion I decided to share some foodie details about my recent trip to Iceland.
I always try to visit places with outstanding natural features, so food is not usually at the top of my list when planning a trip. But sometimes, amazing nature combines with a rich culture, and culture always comes with an array of unique flavors :) This was the case with Iceland. I underestimated Icelandic food, I thought I was going to eat dry fish and soups for 10 days but I was pleasantly surprised of how much I enjoyed my meals in the land of fire and ice.
How to summarize 10 amazing days, in an amazing country full of amazing people? Full so to speak given that Iceland has 3.1 persons per square kilometer, that is 7.5 per sq mi. I am going to have to concentrate and tell you only about food or this post will be the longest in the history of blogs!
First of all, Icelanders eat all sorts of weird stuff! We had the pleasure (or not?) to try rotten shark, puffin, whale, horse and foal. We did not try, but they are quite a staple and Icelanders swear they are a delicacy, pickled ram’s testicles and whole sheep head… Hehehe I told you Icelanders eat weird stuff!
My favorite meal? The lobster feast at Fjorubordid. Everybody was so enthusiastic about this small restaurant that even though I am always skeptical about famous restaurants, we made our reservation and went. When my plate of soup arrived and the first spoon entered my mouth: oh my, I lost it! There are absolutely no words to describe the luscious taste of that soup. Here is how the owners describe their soup “Lobster in magical soup. People risk their lives in bad weather en route to the village of Stokkseyri for just a few spoonfuls of this soup – with cream, tomatoes, charm & passion” and I couldn’t agree more. Our dinner continued with sauteed lobster, served on our table straight in the cute pot where they prepared it :) On a side note I should say that their lobster is not the lobster we are used to, it is in fact a Norwegian Lobster, similar to langoustines.
My favorite drink? Definitely the local Vatnajokull beer. But the omnipresent Viking was pretty good too. The Vatnajokull beer has a special story behind it: In 874 Ingolfur Arnarson became the first settler in Iceland. At similar time the water used in this special beer fell onto the clean and unspoiled Vatnajokull glacier. Now it returns from the glacier as icebergs in the regional glacier lagoons. On the black sand around the glacier, the small and humble artic thyme herb grows suring the short bright summer. Olvisholts brewmaster has brewed a truly unique beer from Glacer lagoon icebergs and the local artic thyme. Allowing you to experience the Vatnajokull region in its purest form.
But this is not the only beer we tried ;) For one of our meals we scouted for local beer and Icelandic cheese and charcuterie. The picture speaks for itself
Max’s favorite meal was Baaaaa, yeap I mean lamb, and not simple lamb, a lamb feast at Laekjarbrekka. From smoked to marinated to a nice fillet, topped with an amazing chocolate dessert :)
There are many more things I want to share with you but this post is getting seriously long, so let me just say that we had a lot of good fish and that I ate smoked puffin, which came in a scary jar and I didn’t like it very much. And last but not least, make a note: if you decide you want to try rotten shark, only chew it a couple of times and than choke it down. The more you chew it the worst it gets, and don’t forget to take a sip of Brennivin to rinse you mouth, it works like a charm!
To conclude I am going to pass on to you one good piece of advice I received from a young Icelandic farmer: when you order your svid, the sheep’s head, make sure you eat the cheeks first! Those are the best…
Goodbye Iceland, hope to see you again some day!
A special thank you goes to Goecco Reykjavik for the amazing, spectacular, mindblowing trip to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Ymir is the culprit for the rotten shark, mink whale and foal we ate in Iceland :P But also for the best salmon I have ever had! You know that feeling you get when you go visit some friends and they share with you the very best of where they live and their very favorite places, I find incredible that these guys can make you feel that way with a one day trip!