-Icelandic CUISINE –
What is traditional Icelandic cuisine?
Icelandic cuisine is based primarily on simple and unsophisticated ingredients. This is mainly due to the fact that in the past Icelanders had to somehow cope with the low availability of varied food. In order for food to survive the harsh winter season, it had to be properly prepared – fish and meat were dried, smoked or salted. Icelandic cuisine is certainly unique flavors. Iceland has some very distinctive dishes that you absolutely must try.
SVIÐ – Sheep’s head with potatoes and turnips
Here’s a dish that Icelandic cuisine is famous for. Svið, or sheep’s head with potatoes and boiled turnips. For tourists an attraction, for Icelanders an everyday occurrence. It may not look inviting, but it really is tasty – especially the cheeks. You can’t eat too much of it, but it’s a must-have item for anyone adventurous and willing to explore new flavors.
Why fermented? Because raw Greenland shark meat is poisonous to humans, and the fermentation process removes excess urea. In the past, the meat was placed in a shallow pit in the ground for several months, then covered with sand and covered with stones. Of course, today the process is completely different. Meat is put into plastic containers with holes for several months. After undergoing the fermentation process, the skin is removed from it and it is cut into cubes. Prepared this way, you can buy it in the store – even an ordinary supermarket. What does hakarl taste like? The taste can be described as something between mature molded cheese and fish. Of course, in the case of hakarl, the dominant flavor is a very strong smell of ammonia.
BITAFISKUR – Dried fish
This is a very popular Icelandic snack that can be considered a substitute for chips. There are different types on sale – including large, thin slices or thick, small slices. According to Icelanders, dried fish tastes best with butter. Bitafiskur definitely has a more intense smell than taste.
PLOKKFISKUR – Pureed fish
Another traditional Icelandic dish. It dates back to ancient times, when Icelanders fed almost exclusively on fish and were forced to prepare various dishes from it. Plokkfiskur is simply a mixture of finely ground fish and potatoes.