It’s already been a month and a half since I left Montreal! Here’s an all-over-the-place post of random bits of info that cross my mind as I’m writing this, about my food-related experiences in Reykjavik, Iceland. For non-food Iceland related info, I suggest you hop to my travel blog Bohemian Vagabonds.
Food in Iceland so far has been a nice little adventure. Icelanders seem to be best known for their singed sheep heads, rotten shark meat and skyr, a deliciously thick Greek yogurt type of cheese that Icelanders refuse to call yogurt despite it’s grand similarities. Let me tell ya, Icelanders Loooove their dairy! Especially Siggi. He can drink 5 cups of milk during a meal without a problem and put 2 tbsp of butter on a piece of bread like it’s nothing. The fridge where I’m staying mostly consists of dairy products and then meat. As for greens, spinach is the most common. Flat demi-moon shaped bread and rye bread are common too. And they really like orange carbonated soft drinks.
Peanut butter is not something they eat here. Hot dogs (with the forever debate on whether they should be called pylsa or pulsa) are a common food to grab while out or after coming out of their many swimming pools, but they aren’t like our hotdogs. They have the weirdest “mustard” they add to them, along with awesome fried onions. Lamb is the nation’s favorite meat and with good reason – It’s always delicious and wonderfully cooked no matter what way it is prepared. Fish is another common food, considering they’re an island stuck in the middle of the Atlantic ocean… They enjoy dried fish with big dollups of butter on it.
Icecream! How could I forget the icecream. Whether it’s a beautiful (by Icelandic standards) day or a shitty cold one where rain comes at your face from below, Icelanders will go out for icecream. There are icecream shops everywhere, but by no means is icecream here cheap. It’s actually quite expensive. But then again, everything is. My personal favorite is soft icecream dipped in chocolate sauce and Then dipped in whatever sugary condiment possible – oreo crumbs, chocolate, smarties, gummy bears, etc etc. I’ve yet to master the art of eating it.
Siggi made pönnukökur for me the other day, which is basically crepes that are sprinkled with sugar and then rolled up. There is a special kind of frying pan that is used for making these and pretty much every household owns one. Siggi’s mom cooks delicious traditional meals which is a nice insight for me since I don’t really go eat at restaurants here. There are a lot of traditions that are accompanied by certain kinds of food and drinks that I look forward to elaborating on in future posts.
The prices are WOAH expensive. I’m really lucky to be staying somewhere where the food is shared with me. It’s also a good thing I can get some freebies where Siggi works, a sandwhich/smoothie/yogurt restaurant called Lemon, because a large juice there (which is a small-medium for us in America) is almost 1000 kronars, which equals to over 8$. His work has got nice ambience though, and Siggi gets to juggle with fruits and knives when he feels like it =). A simple hotdog, depending on where you get it, can cost you 5$. Ground beef costs double the price. A 750ml bottle of Jack Daniels will cost ya 65$ instead of 40$ in Canada or 30-35$ in the States. You get the picture.
OH! How could I forget to mention the other way I’m surviving… The dumspters are quite nice here. My first run was the best, with, you guessed it, loads and loads of dairy products, and protein drinks, meat products, party mix, organic granola cereal, icecream mars bars, cakes, bread, fruits and vegetables… lots. Too much to carry among four people on bikes with bags. Dumpster diving is easily done here (and with nice cold weather to keep the food cool) but it’s not done by many. All of Siggi’s friends make grimaces when they’re first explained the pleasures of dumpster diving, but some of them do come along to experience it.
So, while living under this roof that is occupied by Siggi and his mom, his sister who lives in the garage with her boyfriend, and sometimes his older cousin, I’ve been elected to cook supper once in a while, which proves to be difficult. Not only are ingredients expensive and limited, but this particular house doesn’t have any real frying pans, any muffin mold pans and no blender. Yo can imagine how creative I gotta be when I realize these things in the middle of food-making. All my desserts are in the shape of a round cake. Here’s a couple of pictures of stuff I’ve made here so far.
Orange almond cake with lots of orange zest =)
Vegetarian stuffed bell peppers with quinoa (brought from home ’cause I like to think ahead!)
Whole wheat nut ‘n’ chocolate banana cake
Allavega! (anyway), I will cut this post here and write up another when I have more interesting news to share with you. By the way, the title is a ridiculous saying in Iceland which means “the best part for last”. Enjoy your food!