We are going to tell you a little bit about our Icelandic food and how Icelanders used to live in the old days and how they got food on this small island.
Food In Iceland In the old days in Iceland, it was not easy to get food sent from abroad as it is today. People had to grow and raise their livestock and make sure they had enough throughout the year, but today we receive food sent outside such as vegetables and fruit and in most cases, our meat is Icelandic that we buy in the store.
Hangikjöt is a smoked lamb. In the old days, people used to salt the meat to keep it fresh, smoking the meat to prolonged its shelf life and prevent microbial growth. Now we smoke our meat because we like the smell and the special taste it brings to the meat. We eat the meat with a white sauce called a stew, green beans, red cabbage, and puff pastry or in Icelandic puff pastry. It’s delicious. Then people also get dried fish with the smoked lamb.
Dried fish (Harðfiskur) is fish that is hung up to dry in dry climates in good winds. The fish is salted and hammered and left to hang for four to six weeks. Most people in Iceland love it.
Skyr is a very famous traditional Icelandic milk product (curd) with high protein content and low-fat content. We eat skyr everywhere and for any meal. Skyr is a very popular snack and especially for athletes. But Icelanders also like to get french fries with cocktail sauce. Cocktail sauce is an Icelandic sauce that every Icelander eats with almost everything. This mixture is only made from mayonnaise and ketchup. But you don´t eat cocktail sauce with a shark.
The Icelandic shark is fermented and hung for five months, it has an ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste and is generally served at a festival called þorrablót. Þorrablót is a festival on the coldest day in iceland where people come together to eat old traditional food.
Lobster however is not a þorrablót food. The lobster or langoustine is very popular and especially in Höfn because it is the lobster town, many people travel to Höfn to taste the lobster there is also a festival which is the last weekend in June called humarhátíð or lobster festival. We used to catch a lot of lobsters here in our town, but lobster fishing is declining due to climate change and ocean acidification, so the catch is considerably smaller than it was here before. Today it is very popular to be vegan. You do not eat animal products such as eggs or meat, but people get a steak called peanut steak instead, like at Christmas. Peanut steak is very popular for many vegan people. Some choose to be vegan due to climate change and others to help the animals.
Written by Ástrós Aníta and Karen Ása