Eating Iceland

by Danielle Robles

Being the food lover that I am, I hit up Google to get the dirt on the Iceland food sitch pretty much immediately after booking my flight. I mean, if I was going to explore a new country, I was GOING to test out their local cuisine dammit. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit surprised when I discovered that their national food was a hot dog (whaaat)—but simultaneously knew that this also meant I was in for a flavorsome adventure. Here is what I discovered.

Plokkfiskur (Mashed Fish Stew)

During our South Shore Tour, we stopped into a quaint little café on the side of the road to indulge in the local delicacies. This signature comfort food dish is made with boiled haddock or halibut, flaked with a fork, and then mixed with boiled quartered potatoes and a sauce of onion, butter, flour and milk to create a creamy texture. It is traditionally served with dark rye bread and butter. It reminded me of a creamy potato salad with a bit more texture. It looks wonky, but tastes oh-so-delicious.

Harðfiskur (Hard Dried Fish)

Being that the Icelandic fishing grounds are some of the purest in the world, harðfiskur remains a favorite amongst locals. Its origins stem from Viking preserving and storing methods—when fishermen hang-dried leftovers from their daily catches in order to have some food for the winter. It is sometimes used in soups or stews but most commonly it is eaten as a snack—like jerky or a potato chip, and sometimes even dipped in salted butter.

Lobster Soup

In case you haven’t noticed the underlying theme here—the majority of Iceland’s beloved dishes come from the sea. Inside a cute little blue fish shack called Saegreifinn (Sea Baron) by the water, you’ll find Iceland’s most famous lobster soup. This bold, rich soup is heavenly—creamy, a tad sweet, with touches of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and a healthy heaping of high-quality, fresh Icelandic lobster. This local favorite is an absolute must-stop if gallivanting through Reykjavik.


Icelandic Hot Dog

Dubbed “The best hot dog in the world” by Huff Post (I know what you’re thinking)—this national food treasure is quite different from its American counterparts. For starters, they’re made mostly from Icelandic lamb—which trust me, if you haven’t tried before, is EVERYTHING—and comes with a plethora of mouth-watering toppings. When ordering, do as the locales do and order it “eina með öllu” (with everything)—ketchup, sweet mustard, raw onions, fried onions, and remolaði, a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish. BOMB.COM.