What to eat in Reykjavík?
Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, is a vibrant and charming city that combines urban modernity with the unique natural beauty of this Nordic country. Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, between mountains, ocean and volcanoes, Reykjavik is a place where tradition meets innovation. Icelandic cuisine is equally fascinating, featuring fresh, local ingredients, often inspired by Iceland's rich fishing tradition and local crops. Between the restaurants, cozy cafes and local markets, food lovers will have the opportunity to explore and savor the authenticity of Icelandic cuisine, reflecting the history and culture of this fascinating Nordic nation.
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It is the Icelandic national dish which consists of meat and fish offal, selected following tradition, cut into pieces or slices and accompanied by Rugbrauo, which is hard, black rye bread combined with butter. As for the typical meat of this national Icelandic recipe, the one mainly used consists of mutton testicles, sheep's head jam, black pudding and grilled sheep's heads combined with putrefied shark meat.
Cod e Hardfiskur
Iceland produces a huge quantity of cod for export. Cod is not a fish that is usually consumed in Iceland but when it is consumed the most popular ways to cook it are baked with lots of butter or dehydrated and eaten as a snack together with Hardfiskur. Hardfiskur or dried haddock belongs to the same family as cod. Once upon a time it was usually consumed during almost all meals instead of bread, now as a snack.
Hakarl: the rotting shark
Hakarl or fermented shark, is a typical Icelandic dish, it is characterized by an ammonia smell and a taste similar to very strong mature cheese, so intense that many Icelanders refuse to eat it. It is often served in cold, somewhat gelatinous cubes skewered on a toothpick.
There is a custom to accompany it with a glass of brandy, called brennivín. Those who eat hakarl are considered fearless and courageous.
Among the dishes to eat in Iceland, lamb is among the most famous.
They offer lamb in all its forms (head included) and also lamb soups.
The lambs are left to grow free during the hot season, they feed solely on grasses and no hormones are administered to these animals. All this makes their meat unique in the world.
If you love yogurt you will love skyr which is actually not a real yogurt but was born as a cream cheese. Today it is found on the market in versions that have nothing traditional about them but were created for mass consumption. By paying attention to the producers you can still find the original which, to take on the traditional flavor and consistency, must be mixed with cream. It is served with berries or honey and according to tradition it would also replace an entire dinner due to its nutritional values.
Icelandic dish par excellence, it can be eaten with rúgbraud (rye bread cooked in steam or under the ground near natural heat sources). Slightly salty and with an intense lobster flavour, it is the right reward after a day out and about, whether it's winter or summer it doesn't matter.
Reykjavik Hot Dog by Pylsur
The hot dog was certainly not born in Iceland but nevertheless, the small chain Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (in Icelandic "the best hot dog in the city") offers an interesting interpretation of this street food with a mix of beef, pork and lamb , paired with onions and sweet mustard.
Icelandic cinnamon crepes, prepared with flour, eggs, yeast, salt, sugar and vanilla extract. These delicious crepes are served with jam or maple syrup, or with yogurt or cream.
A typical dessert not to be missed in Reykjavik are ástarpungar, round-shaped fritter prepared with sultanas. Literally the word ástarpungar means "lover's balls", this dessert is linked to a rather singular legend: it is said that an Icelander had a very beautiful wife. One day he discovered her with her lover, in the grip of jealousy he decided to take revenge, killing his rival and depriving him of his testicles, which he then cooked in a sweet fried batter and served them to his wife, unaware of everything.
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