Icelandic Culture
29 October 2021

What to Eat In Iceland: Inspiration from isolation

Iceland easily makes it in the list of the top fifteen most beautiful countries in the world, specifically at number 8. Its natural allure is composed mainly of majestic volcanic mountains and deep and colorful natural hot springs. It is home to a plethora of renowned black sand beaches. The country is a must for anyone's bucket list.

What of Iceland's cuisine? In many ways, it matches the blend of the scenery around the country. You can find lamb and fish playing the protagonist in various dishes when considering what to eat for dinner. If you're vegan or vegetarian, don't worry, as there are plenty of delicious alternatives to enjoy.

One of the most exciting parts of enjoying food in Iceland is how the country's limitations shaped the cuisine. Moreover, how it shows in the final product. You might be surprised by a few of the main ingredients. Keep reading to find out more about what to eat when you travel to Iceland.

salmon dish

What to Eat in Iceland: Inspiration from Isolation

Due to Iceland's isolation from the rest of the world as an island and distance from other landmasses, the country was very limited in terms of ingredient availability. Trade with other countries was sparked, in part, by the curiosity surrounding the country's famous landmarks. Without considering imported ingredients, the primary sources include sheep, sharks, whales, and a mix of possible products derived from each.

Skyr, for example, is a cow-derived dairy product that's similar to a combination of cottage cheese and yogurt. You'll find it combined with various fruits for a more exquisite taste. Lamb loves to take center stage and is often considered the primary protagonist in most dishes in Iceland. All of the famous and traditional food in the country is formed with ingredients available on the island, and tasting the variety is quite an experience.

Here's a quick look at Iceland food and meals you should look for that display inspiration from isolation and are somewhat difficult to pronounce:

  • Rúgbrauð
  • Plokkfiskur
  • Harðfiskur

dried fish

A Rich Combination of Land and Sea

The inspiration behind the food in Iceland is based primarily on the availability of ingredients, sure. But, what motivated its culinary aficionados to combine and refine certain dishes? Some say it's the stark contrast, on all fronts, between the land, the Northern Lights, and the sea. The best way to take in this idea is to explore. You might want to consider renting a car and signing up for a boat tour to embrace the concepts behind Iceland’s cuisine fully.

Geographical limitations pushed the people on the island to innovate and explore the culinary field. For example, one method of cooking shark involved fermentation in urine. Luckily, it's no longer used. However, it's these unique and seemingly strange techniques that add zest to every plate; chefs have managed to keep that special touch to this day without using prior methods.

Exploring Iceland

Visiting Iceland at least once is a must. If you're really interested in exploring the various flavors in the country, consider renting a car and exploring the city of Reykjavik. You'll find plenty of excellent traditional restaurants there. The cuisine and scenery are an incredible combination and offer a pleasurable stay for any world wanderer.

Reach out if you're ready to start exploring Iceland at your own pace. We'll help you get started and point you in the right direction if you have any doubts about the island.