Introduction: Iceland’s Unique Culinary Traditions
Iceland’s cuisine has remained largely untouched by the culinary influences of other countries. Iceland’s isolation and harsh climate have made it difficult for foreign ingredients to thrive. Instead, the country has developed its own unique culinary traditions, which have remained largely unchanged for centuries. Icelandic cuisine is known for its use of fresh, local ingredients, its emphasis on preserving food through fermentation and drying, and its reliance on seafood and meat.
Focus on Local Ingredients: The Key to Icelandic Cuisine
Icelandic cuisine is all about using fresh, local ingredients. Given the country’s harsh climate, this means that many of the ingredients used in Icelandic dishes are hardy plants and animals that can survive in the cold and windy conditions. This includes things like lamb, fish, and wild berries. Iceland is also known for its high-quality dairy products, such as skyr, a type of yogurt that is thick, creamy, and high in protein. The country’s pristine waters are home to some of the world’s best seafood, including cod, haddock, and salmon.
From Fermented Shark to Skyr: Iconic Icelandic Dishes to Try
When it comes to iconic Icelandic dishes, there are a few that stand out. One of the most infamous is fermented shark, known as hákarl. This strongly-flavored dish is an acquired taste, even for locals. Another traditional dish is hangikjöt, smoked lamb that is often served with boiled potatoes and white sauce. For something sweet, skyr, a type of yogurt that is similar to Greek yogurt, is a staple in Icelandic cuisine. It can be eaten plain or with fruit and granola. Finally, no trip to Iceland would be complete without trying some of the country’s fresh seafood. Some of the best seafood dishes include lobster soup, fish and chips, and smoked salmon.