Brian’s comment in one of my last post made me think… Indeed, my friend had to learn Icelandic at Paris IV-Sorbonne as part of his Master! He told me that it was not easy many times but he never alluded to the Icelandic food before yesterday, on this precise blog!
Brian named different dishes Icelandic people use to eat, and I was very curious and at the same time intrigued by those weird names, referring to special ingredients…
Actually, I found out that they have a traditional dark and sweet rye bread in Iceland, and they cook a round and thin sort of bread for Christmas… Then so far, nothing seems strange in this country…
The names we are introduced to are really funny, I agree with Brian on this. Nevertheless, those words do not psychologically prepare you to the ‘appearance’, the ‘aspect’ of the food, and the ingredients that those dishes are made of. If we want to be strictly pragmatic, it is only meat, but really it is heads, testicles and whale’s fat… Do not get me wrong, I do not judge and I have lived in Reunion Island for fourteen years, where people eat pig’s feet and tail or chicken’s feet, but I never said I could eat that 😀 Perhaps if I am challenged… 😀
Let’s have a look on the dishes Brian talked about:
Svið: it is a whole grilled or boiled ram head, sometimes cured in lactic acid.
Súrsaðir hrútspungar: the testicles of rams pressed in blocks, boiled and cured in lactic acid.
Lifrarpylsa: Icelandic sheep liver sausage, it is a pudding made from liver and suet of sheep kneaded with rye flour and oats.
Don’t worry if you go to Iceland guys, the types of yoghurts you can find (like Skyr) seem perfectly edible! I am myself planning on going to Iceland on a trek and I know now that my food will be exclusively composed of bread and yoghurt 😀
Enjoy your meal!