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Written by Bhavika G on September 30, 2016 Share on

You won’t believe what Icelanders eat!

Vivid landscapes, un-encountered natural phenomena and awe-inspiring views. But Iceland is more than just this. To Vikings, famed for being barbaric, Iceland was home. And to this day, many of their habits continue to trickle and define the way Icelanders live. Food is no exception. Today Iceland has come a long way and its palate has expanded. Some bizzare, some foodgasmic, check out what Icelanders eat!

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Svið, referring to Sheep’s head is delicacy in Iceland. Pre-cooked at restaurants or sold frozen in supermarkets, the Sheep’s head is, in fact, a favourite among many an Icelander. The entire head is eaten excepting the brain. Its tongue and cheek are relished most. The head is said to taste like the rest of it. So, if you are feeling adventurous – go ahead, take a bite of what Icelanders eat!

Image credit – haikudeck


Tender lamb soothes your hunger pangs? With its Hangikjöt, Iceland serves one of the most tender lambs in the world. Loosely translated to “smoked lamb”, the lamb is roasted in a traditional manner over fire fueled by birch and, sometimes, sheep dung – contributing to distinctive flavour. A quick quip, the sheep are said to be allowed to graze without restraint on grass, plants and, even, herbs in unspoilt highlands. Served with potatoes, bechamel sauce, red beets and green peas; dig into some Hangikjöt while in Iceland!

Smoked lamb
Image credit – pinterest


The New Zealand has its tim-tam and Iceland has its Skyr. Is it yoghurt? Is it curd? It is neither. It is, in fact, a type of soft cheese made of gelatinous milk curds. Flavoured with Icelandic blueberries, it is retains a yoghurt-like texture, with a lingering sour taste. If you would rather, Skyr can be taken as a beverage too – called drykkur, this drink is available in peach, strawberry, papaya and vanilla flavours.

Iceland's Skyr
Image credit – arla


In an island nation, it is no surprise that seafood – fish, especially – is a common treat. Iceland, of course, has internalised serving fish differently. Called Harðfiskur, this can be referred to as “fish jerky”. The fish is dried out in cold air and allowed to ferment – a similar process that cheese undergoes. With a dollop of butter on top, this is a common comfort snack among the Icelanders. It is an acquired taste, we warn you.

Iceland's hardfiskur
Image credit – icelandicfoodstories


Kjötsúpa – better known as meat soup is prepared several hours before consumption. No brainer, that this is a favourite among Icelanders. Consisting of lamb, the meat is prepared after being cut into small pieces and boiled over several hours along with rice, potatoes, turnips, carrots, onions and herbs. The flavour is said to exponentially increase if you let the soup sit for a day before drinking it – almost every Icelander swears by this!

Image credit – marksdailyapple

Ein með öllu

Ein með öllu – no fancy dish, this one. This is hot dog – Iceland incorporated. Well grilled lamb dolloped with fried onion, raw onion, ketchup, sweet brown mustard and remoulade – a sauce made of relish and mayonnaise. The lamb is said to waft off a deep flavour that magically brings together other condiments of this dish – making it, supposedly, the snappiest hot dog you will ever eat. Another Icelandic preparation you cannot afford to miss out on!

Iceland's hotdog
Image credit – streetcuisine


Pönnukökur is Iceland’s answer to the great American breakfast staple – pancakes, of course. Warm, snuggy toasted dough of sweetness – who can say no to that? The Icelandic version of this is a thinner, crepe-like pancakes that are served with sprinkled sugar and rhubarb jam or whipped cream on top. Crispy on the edges, these pancakes can be paired with coffee. Breakfast is fixed!

Iceland's ponnukokur
Image credit – citycookie


No foodie experience is complete without a good drink. While alcohol and coffee and the, aforementioned, drykkur may assert your attention; don’t miss out on Brennivin! Nicknamed ‘black death’,  it is a clear, unsweetened schnapps and Iceland’s iconic distilled beverage. Similar to vodka in taste, Brennivin is taken in shots especially after biting into fermented shark. If you don’t feel experimental enough to eat the food that Icelanders eat, just yell, ‘Skål!’ and drink up!

Image credit – icelandmag 

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