Icelandic cuisine owes much to Scandinavian and European influences. As New Nordic cuisine has risen in prominence in recent years, so too has the profile of Iceland’s food with many experimental chefs cooking up a storm in Reykjavík’s restaurants. Fresh fish can be had all year round - Icelanders eat mostly haddock, cod, plaice, halibut, herring and shrimp, but Icelandic salmon, lobster and Arctic char are also very good. The lamb, which is reared locally, is free range, organic and extremely tasty.

THE 8 BEST TYPES OF ICELANDIC FOOD


Specialities:


- Hangikjöt (Smoked Lamb)
Hangikjöt is smoked Icelandic lambs. It is reputed to be especially good because of how the sheep are farmed, which is quite old fashioned: they are free to roam around the wilderness of the unspoiled and rather barren highlands all summer long without any supervision at all. The sheep graze not only on grass, but also on plants and herbs which contributes to their rich and complex flavour. 
After the slaughter, the farmer smokes the lamb traditionally fueling the fire with birch or dried sheep dung – each of which adds its own distinctive flavour. Smoked lamb is usually served up with potatoes, béchamel sauce, red beets and green peas.

THE 8 BEST TYPES OF ICELANDIC FOOD


- Skyr
The famous not-actually-a-yoghurt-but-nobody-cares product, skyr, is technically a type of soft cheese, made from gelatinous milk curds. As appetizing as that sounds, mixed with milk and served with sugar or Icelandic blueberries, it's actually quite wonderful, with a rich, yoghurt-like texture and slightly sour taste.


 

- Icelandic fish (All the fish)
In addition to the wide variety unbelievably fresh fish available, there are two types of interesting traditional Icelandic fish worth noting:
Saltfiskur (Bacalao): Saltfiskur, literally salt-fish, has been dried and salted. It has a history in scandinavia of more than 500 years, and used to be a major export before refrigeration was a thing. Recently however, it has experienced a revival in some Icelandic restaurants.
Harðfiskur (Stockfish): The simplest way to explain harðfiskur is that it is like beef jerky. Only fish. So fish jerky. It is dried out in the cold air, where the cold air bacteria ferment it in a process similar to the fermenting of cheese. So fish-cheese jerky. And it's awesome. You eat it with butter.

 

THE 8 BEST TYPES OF ICELANDIC FOOD

 

- Kjötsúpa (Meat soup)
Another traditional lamb dish, it was originally a way of preparing tougher pieces of meat but these days is cooked with as high quality meat as any other dish. The meat is cut into small pieces and boiled with bones and all, with rice, potatoes, turnips, carrots, onions and herbs. It is boiled for several hours before serving, though most Icelanders agree that it gets even better if you let it sit for a day and then re-heat it.

 

THE 8 BEST TYPES OF ICELANDIC FOOD

 

- “Ein með öllu” - the iconic Icelandic hot dog
One of the most typically Icelandic foods is the pylsa hot dog. They contain lamb which gives them an unusual flavour, but the magic is in the sauces. A real Icelandic hot dog is served með öllu, with everything on it, which means ketchup, a sweet brown mustard, raw onions, fried onions, and remoulade (a sauce made with mayonnaise and relish).

 

THE 8 BEST TYPES OF ICELANDIC FOOD


- Harðfiskur
A dried fish snack, often cod, haddock or ocean catfish, is usually dipped in salted butter.

THE 8 BEST TYPES OF ICELANDIC FOOD


- Pönnukökur
Thin pancakes rolled up with jam, powdered sugar and/or cream.

THE 8 BEST TYPES OF ICELANDIC FOOD


- Rúgbrauð
A moist and slightly sweet rye bread.

THE 8 BEST TYPES OF ICELANDIC FOOD

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