The best types of food in Iceland
When someone talks about food, you will instantly say “Mmmmm…. Tasty!” When visiting Iceland, you can be sure you´ll find good and healthy food. Many of the dishes are traditional and have been around for ages, like the Icelandic meat soup. You will find all sorts of international restaurants in Iceland, such as Indian, Italian and Sushi places, but we recommend you try out some of the Icelandic ones as the food there is first class. Don´t forget to shop like a local at the supermarket and grab some skyr and flatbrauð. It doesn´t matter what time of the year you are in Iceland, you can always be sure that your taste buds will be pleased! Now let us make your mouth water with the most delightful food in Iceland.
Hangikjöt (Smoked Lamb)
The Icelandic lamb meat is to die for because of its very distinct flavor. The lambs were grown the traditional way of just letting them free for them to eat on fresh grasses, plants and herbs. When it’s time for them to be plated, the farmers smoke the meat in old fashioned way. Birch and / or dried sheep dung is used to smoke the meat bringing its flavor to the fullest. The smoked lamb is one of Icelander´s Christmas delicacies. Icelanders also eat a lot of fresh lamb meat which is one of the best you will ever taste. So, as long as you aren´t a vegetarian, it´s a must to try Icelandic lamb when you visit Iceland.
Skyr is famous in Iceland. It’s a cultured dairy product similar to its cousin the strained yogurt. Traditionally, it is made out of raw milk but now they have altered the production by using pasteurized skimmed milk. It has slightly sour taste and sweetness. You can get them plain or with flavors like vanilla, blueberries and strawberries. Skyr is rich in protein and calcium which makes it more special. You can also get so-called skyr drinks with different kinds of flavours. Icelanders eat much of skyr – as a desert, in smoothies, between meals, even for breakfast.
Fishing is one of the best activity in Iceland because first of all there are plenty of them to catch, second is that you can eat them by the traditional Icelandic method of preparing. One type is saltfiskur (Bacalao, which means salted fish). In preparation of the fish, it has to be dried and salted. Another type of fish preparation or method of preserving is harðfiskur (Stockfish – see picture above), this is the process of cold air drying and the cold air bacteria will do the job in fermenting the fish. Then of course there is a variety of fresh fish eaten in Iceland, prepared in many different ways – boiled, oven baked or pan fried. Icelandic fish is fresh and delicious!
Kjötsúpa (Icelandic meat soup)
Kjötsúpa (Icelandic meat soup) is a traditional lamb dish in Iceland. The meat (the tough ones or you can use any part of the lamb) is slow cooked and is mixed with herbs, onion and root vegetables and served with rice barley or rolled oats. An easy dish to make but nevertheless a delicious one.
“Ein með öllu”
“Ein með öllu” means “Give me one with the works”. By works means the iconic Icelandic hot dog (hot dogs made from lambs). Pylsa or pulsa (whatever you want to call it because both of them would mean “hot dog” in Icelandic) served in a bun and topped with ketchup and mustard, plus fried and raw onions, and the famous remoulade sauce(mayonnaise and coleslaw or relish). This can be brought at any stands in Iceland but one that serves the most lined up and the tastiest is Bæjarins bestu in Reykjavik (opposite the Kolaportið flee market).
Icelandic chocolate is know for its taste. Many different kinds of chocolates and sweets are available, such as Nóa kropp, Rís and Hraun, not to mention Nóa konfekt assortated chocolates are a must at every Icelandic household for Christmas. During Easter everyone gets a chocolate Easter egg with a little note (a saying) inside. Everyone can for sure find their favorite Icelandic chocolate!
Icelanders produce their own beer and in the past years, many new brands have entered the market. The Icelandic beer is made out of Icelandic ingredients and as the Icelandic water is so pure and fresh, the local beer is very good and worth tasting!
The Icelandic flatbrauð (flat bread) has been around for ages and is always popular among all age groups. You eat it with butter and if you want to take it all the way, put a slice of smoked lamb on it. You can buy different kinds of flatbrauð in every supermarket and we recommend you try it at least once.
The list of Icelandic delicacies is endless but to give you a few more ideas to taste and try, we recommend Malt (drink), kleina (similar to a deep fried bread), vöffla with jam and cream, and Icelandic ice cream.