Icelandic Foods You Should Try

Magazine Icelandic Foods You Should Try

For many, one of the pleasures of travel is eating, especially getting the opportunity to try new foods or foods from their origin.  This post is a list of Icelandic foods you should definitely try during your stay in Iceland.

Icelandic Lamb - If you love lamb, you will never want any other lamb after eating Icelandic lamb.  They are essentially wild and live on berries and wild grasses so they taste of the earth, in a delightfully gamey kind of way.  Our favorites are Hangikjot (smoked), Roasted (leg or back) or, Kjotsupa (sounds like cute soopa), which is a traditional Icelandic lamb soup.  And though every family has a slightly different recipe, at it’s core it is made with Icelandic lamb and root vegetables. It’s flavor is derived from the lamb meat and bones.

Malt - Sounds weird, we know.  And, not a 'food', we know. Malt is a dark, beer-like beverage that is like beer mixed with a little licorice and the flavor of malt. It’s a little creamy and sweet and during the holidays, Icelanders mix it with orange soda - still sounds weird, we know.  This is one of those, “trust us, you’ll like it” kind of situations.  It’s even good for mild tummy aches.  

Icelandic beer - Considered throughout history... Iceland may not spring to mind as a beer destination, but believe us it is. Icelanders love their beer and dozens of microbrew companies have sprung up in the last few years producing a plethora of great beers.  

Icelandic hot dogs - Locally called Pylsa, they are fast becoming world-famous as possibly the best hot dog on the planet (that is not hyperbole). Icelandic hot dogs are made with smoked lamb and pork, with natural casings. They are served on a steamed bun with ketchup, sweet brown mustard, fried onions (and sometimes raw onions) and remoulade, a sauce made with mayonnaise and relish.  It is the concert of bread, pylsa and sauces that make the magic. To get the full treatment order “ein með öllu” (one with all).

Icelandic fish - Choose any fish in Iceland, and unless its salted (Saltfiskur or Bacalao) or dried (Harðfiskur or fish jerky) - both are good by the way - it’s as fresh as fresh gets. Icelanders are a fishing nation, anything less than just out of the ocean or stream is blasphemous.  

Icelandic dairy products - Sorry, had to go with a whole class of foods on this one. Icelandic dairy products are like dairy should be; like dairy once was when the world was smaller. Icelandic cows live lives like in the old days; eating grass, free to roam, no antibiotics, no hormones - no nothing.  And, you can taste the difference. For the non lactose intolerant, do yourself a favor and try Icelandic butter, milk and cheeses.

Skyr (sounds like skeer) -  Technically belong to the dairy ‘group’, but deserves its own mention. Skyr is the cousin to yogurt in that it is made from cultured milk and is similar to greek yogurt but, it is thicker and higher in protein because it uses 3-4 times the amount of milk. Icelanders have been eating Skyr for over a thousand years! It is traditionally served with whole milk and sugar.

Icelandic bakery goods - Icelanders love their bread!  There are bakeries all over the capital city of Reykjavik and at least one bakery in every town. From breads to treats, they are fantastic.

From Berjaya Hotels, Iceland trusted hotel chain, offering 9 locations throughout Iceland including two Reykjavik properties. Cheers and bon appetit!


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