5 Interesting Food to Taste in Iceland

Skyr in a bowl with croweberries and blueberries.
The skyr, pronounced sci:hr, is the national dish in Iceland, similar to Greek yoghurt or Italian tiramisu.

Food is an important part of visiting every country. The food in Iceland is based on Iceland’s unique position, throughout history food shortage and difficulties in surviving. That’s why the traditional food is different to most other parts of Europe. Here are 5 types of food that is easy to taste:

1 Skyr is the Icelandic yoghurt but it really is fresh cheese made of skimmed cow milk. Great for breakfast together with berries. You sometimes have it on the hotel’s breakfast table. If you are not staying at a hotel then you’ll just buy a box of skyr in the closest super market.

The hverabrauð is sometimes called the hot spring bread
The hot spring bread is wonderful to taste with a thick spread of butter.

2 Rye bread is usually served with a dish of fish at a restaurant but you can also buy it in every bakery and supermarket you see on the way.  To make the tasting even more interesting I recommend visiting the geothermal park in Hveragerði and buy a slice of freshly baked bread with eggs in slices. It’s delicious and great adventure.

3 Taste the hot dog at the famous hot dog stand in Reykjavik centre. To really taste it you need to ask for ein með öllu or “ayn me:th odly”. This means that you get the hot dog in bread bun, freshly chopped onion, crispy onion, mustard, remoulade and ketchup but of course you can also have it New York-style with hot dog in bread. And mustard?

A bottle of brennivin and two shot glasses.
Islenskt brennivin is the national alcohol, sometimes called the Black Death.

4 The aquavit Íslenskt brennivín is the traditional alcohol. Some people think the brennivín taste of anis or liquorice but the brennivín is made of potatoes and caraway seeds and it has a long after taste. Go to the closest bar to have a short of brennivín, buy a tiny bottle in the souvenir shops or simply buy a bottle in the local Vínbúðin (alcohol shop).

5 The fermented shark is the most infamous Icelandic delicacy. You need to be brave to taste this one because it stinks but it’s worth it. I am not going to spoil the fun for you but I dare you, if you taste the shark then you have a tale to tell at home. You can buy a taste of the fermented shark at the fleemarket Kolaportið during weekends and in restaurant Sea Baron in Reykjavik’s old harbour. it’s also available in local supermarkets.