Friday, March 20, 2009

HG- Iceland

I'm back from Iceland with stories of local lore and food adventures. Way back in the day, icelandic people ate all parts of any animal they could in order to survive. These days it seems they only eat it on holidays or give it to tourists. A definite place to visit as its one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, a land full of volcanos and glaciers run by geothermal activity.

One of the first stops we made was to the oldest kaffi house in Reykjavik: Mokka Kaffi where their Sviss Mokka (espresso in hot chocolate) with little choclate shaving is to die for especially when you've just gotten off a plane.
Mokka Kaffi
Skólavörðustígur 3a

Another one of our staples on our trip was hotdogs. I have never eaten so many in my life. In fact it was the only word I could say with confidence in icelandic "pylsur" along with "takk"- thank you. A mix of lamb and beef, you have to get it with everything, meaning their unique sweet mustard, special mayo and cronions. (I am obsessed with cronions) Icelanders eat it like New Yorkers eat pizza. The famous and best stand is Baejarins Beztu Pylsur on Posthusstraeti 101.

Next stop was the flea market Kolaportio in downtown where inside the cafeteria was one of the best desserts I had the entire trip called Vínarterta. It had a crunchy meringue outside with banana cream filling with rasinettes. Inside the fleamarket you can also purchase rotten shark thats supposed to be eaten on holidays with "Black Death", a liqueur made of caraway seeds. Only the tourists drink the black death now.

Though we were able to spend freely with some things, drinking was still a bit expensive so the tasty and affortable thing to do was to always drink the local brew which we did alot of. You're going to find Viking on tap everywhere, sometimes the only thing on tap.

The other thing that icelanders eat alot of is dried fish. That makes things really stinky. You can find is in chip- like bags inside of gas stations and is particulary good with butter. I've bought it but have yet to try it. We were lucky enough to see the old way of drying the fish out in the countryside where you can smell it from pretty far away.
On the left is the icelandic brown bread made from Rye and buried in the ground to cook. called volcano bread.

Here is where we had some of the traditional icelandic food: Trir frakkar, Baldursgata 14 On the left you'll see smoked puffin. Which was alot like a smoked fish. There also offered reindeer, blubber and organ meat all of which we didn't get.

What we did get was the smoked haddock pictured on the right with a tomato cream sauce which was wonderful.
And then for dessert we got the skyr brulee. Which was really good. Skyr, the icelandic yogurt, was also something we had alot of of. Its a bit like Greek yogurt in its thick consistancy but its made from non fat milk. Anything dairy oriented they made out of Skyr.

I had also tried Whale on my trip offered to me by another table which looked exactly like a steak tip and tasted like one too but a little fishier. I would not really recommend it.

Besides the interesting cusine, I would definitely go back to the beautiful landscape.


  1. One order of smoked puffin and Black Death, please!
    I can't wait to go to Iceland.

  2. what a delectable post! i believe you left out the tasty tuna salad. divine.

  3. hard grubbin on puffin. i gotta try that.

  4. Dude, when were you in ICELAND? That effin rocks! I don't think I could survive there. I hate smoked fish.

  5. Make mine with heavy cronions, please! Well played, that looks like a beautiful trip.