Lots of tourists visit Iceland every year for the sights – waterfalls, volcanoes, glaciers, and lagoons – but you cannot have an altogether wholesome experience of the Icelandic culture if you do not brace up and challenge your taste buds. Here is the top list of foods that you absolutely must try on your next visit to the land of fire and ice.
Icelandic Hot Dogs
Made from a blend of beef, lamb and pork, these hot dogs have been served in Reykjavik for over 60 years. You can decide to either order it alone or get the whole works, which include deep fried onions, sweet brown mustard, and a creamy milk sauce.
Skyr is a type of yoghurt that has been part of the Icelandic culinary scene for over a thousand years. Often described as a cross between cottage cheese and yoghurt, it is made from pasteurized skim milk and can be eaten with cream, milk and fruit berries or ice cream.
Lamb is a major part of Icelandic cuisine and is often served on special occasions. Icelanders pride themselves on the purity of their sheep and the meat is very rich and juicy, especially when stewed with root vegetables and gravy. Sometimes Lamb soup is made from lamb shank, potatoes, and carrots and offers some warmth and comfort from the cold winter days.
The shark meat is first cured with a distinct fermentation method and then hung out to dry for about 5 months. It has such a strong ammoniac smell that newbies are often advised to pinch their noses. Most Icelanders do not eat it any more but those who do take it with a type of schnapps that helps the strong flavor of the shark go down smoother.
Rye bread and butter
This is a staple food in the Icelandic diet with over one thousand ways to eat it. You can pair it with cheese, creamy butter or even smoked salmon. The bread has a very soft texture in the mouth and is spongy and tastes like cake.
Fish and other sea food
Most families in Iceland eat fish every day – cod, salmon, and lobsters – are quite common, which is not surprising seeing that it is an island. Delicacies like mashed fish stew, salted cod flatbreads, and mussel stews are a favorite for gourmands. Many restaurants even serve fish that was only caught that day.
You would think Icelanders would be indifferent to ice cream with all the frigid weather conditions, but they are absolutely obsessed with it. Many ice cream stores offer flavors ranging from vanilla to pepper to licorice. Some shops even open throughout the night to cater to customers.