You've heard of rotten shark and sheep testicles but what do Icelanders really eat? What restaurants does Iceland have to offer? Here you can read about the real food in Iceland.
Living off the land
Icelandic nature, although beautiful and stunning, is vast and there are not many plants or even animals, except sheep. Through the ages, Icelanders have had to improvise their food style quite a bit. Nowadays Icelandic chefs try and keep up the traditions and mostly use local ingredients in their meals. You might notice that many dishes have similar elements like local seafood and herbs like thyme.
Iceland is not like, say, Alaska, where people can live in the wilderness, catch their own food and live off the land. But we do what we can with the local ingredients, vegetables grown locally in greenhouses, etc. The rest sadly is imported.
Fish and meat
Iceland is an island. That means we take fishing pretty seriously. At Icelandic restaurants, you always see fish on the menu. That could be either freshwater or sea fish, but one thing is for sure, it's delicious! Iceland only has three edible freshwater species of fish, the most famous being the Atlantic Salmon. Chefs also depend on some mouth-watering lamb, beef, and chicken meat for their fantastic dishes.
The Icelandic lamb is by far one of the most celebrated meats in Iceland and differs a bit from foreign lamb. Mostly because of the careful breeding and the fact that most lambs are free range. It’s kind of hard to describe, but we’d say it tastes less “woolly.“
Restaurants in Iceland are as different as they are many. Some offer seafood and smoked lamb while others provide a multicultural menu. If you're in the mood for some curry, you could probably find it quite easily. But the most popular type of restaurants in Iceland these days is the Icelandic Scandinavian inspired ones. We even used to have a Michelin star one with Dill restaurant.
Icelanders are all about flavors, and when we dine out, we just want to have a good time with good food. Why don't you try the real food in Iceland as well?