After my recent visit to Iceland, where I showed you some of my favorite Icelandic foods, I’ve teamed up with dealchecker to share with you ‘A Taste of Iceland’- an infographic detailing even more of the country’s unique offerings!
While I was able to try several of these, many are new to me.
I really enjoyed the smoked lamb, although I’m happy that I didn’t find out that one of the components used in smoking it is dried sheep dung until after sampling the dish. That may have affected how excited I was to have tried it. But don’t let it stop you from trying it – it really is delicious.
The pylsur, or Icelandic hot dog, is one of the best hot dogs I’ve ever had. It’s simple, yet delicious. I love that they don’t bog it down with too many unnecessary condiments like chili and cheese. Sometimes less really is more.
As both a scuba diver and a foodie, I was really torn about whether to try the minke whale during my visit. In the end, I had it twice- once as a steak and once smoked. I much preferred the smoked version. The steak had an interesting flavor, but the consistency proved a challenge for me.
I was surprised by how much I loved lundi, or puffin, meat. We tried it during a seven course tasting dinner, and it was served as thin slices of smoked meat. It was so good I had my portion and my friend’s!
Of everything on this list, what I regret missing most is the plokkfiskur- the Icelandic stew. I love anything with mashed potatoes in it, and pairing them with fish, bread and butter sounds amazing. It will definitely be on the top of my list of dishes to seek out on my next visit.
We tried the fermented shark tapas style, and I found it had a really interesting but intense flavor. I was glad to be able to try the small sampling portion before committing to a larger serving.
I would like to have tried the sviô, or sheeps head! I actually tried it during a visit to Morocco, although there it was roasted rather than boiled.
Hrútspungar, or rams testicles may sound off putting to most, but in Oklahoma, where I’m from, they’re called calf fries or Rocky Mountain Oysters. They’re considered somewhat of a delicacy, although they’re are from bulls or calves, not rams. In the future, I’ll try them pickled, as the Icelandic prefer them, but back home we serve them deep fried.
The bleikja, or Arctic Char, is one of my favorite finds from Iceland. Not only does it taste amazing, but the texture is some of the best I’ve ever had. I had it several different ways during my visit, including grilled and in stews.
I always mention that I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I really did enjoy skyr, especially when it was paired with granola and fresh fruit. While most compare it to yogurt, I actually prefer the texture of skyr, as it’s actually a soft cheese.
During one of our dinners, we were each served a shot of the famous brennivin, or black death schnappes. I can see how it got its name! The closest thing I can compare it to is the rakia I’ve had when visiting Eastern Europe. Brennivin is so strong that we all agreed you could likely use it as jet fuel!
Which of these dishes do you most want to try? Is there one you would never try? Let me know in the comments section below!
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.