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[:RU]Unusual national Icelandic dishes.[:]

[:RU]Traditional Icelandic food is to a large extent been influenced by Danish cuisine. We must not forget that the country was under Danish rule, ranging from medieval times to the nineteenth century. Of course, this is reflected in the cooking. Many recipes for cakes and pastries come from Denmark, famous for baked goods, as well, and other dishes. But the people of the first settlements in the territory of Iceland, existed in very difficult climatic conditions, had to make do with what they could get on the ground and in the severe cold sea. Inevitably have to become inventive.

In today’s day Icelanders can afford a lot of gastronomic delights imported them all over the world, but at the same time there are several Icelandic recipes that represent something sacred, which are transmitted from generation to generation for hundreds and hundreds of years.

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Of course, the Icelandic recipe contains a lot of seafood, due to the geographical situation of the country — scallops, salmon, shark meat, shrimp, cod, halibut and more. The most common meat — lamb. Icelanders are very sensitive — the country banned the import of meat, so that the locals are not picked up any infection.

Of great importance for the development of Icelandic culinary tradition had several historical events and natural disasters. The tradition of fasting after the adoption of Christianity in the year 1000, a ban on eating horse meat, offensive Little Ice Age in the fourteenth century, which severely limited agricultural options, and people could not grow more barley. The age-old culinary traditions are associated with the autumn slaughter cattle and limited preservation of meat. Therefore, most of the flavors of traditional dishes of the country is determined by the storage technologies — drying, smoking, pickling in brine or fermented whey.

Unique «surmatur» or serum for marinating meat and fish — a key product, and accordingly prepared to make her products Torramatur. Sliced ​​meat or fish served with rugbrёyd (rye bread, dense, dark color, usually sweet), butter and brännvin (tminovy ​​schnapps).

Torramatur — a tradition the month «Tories.» In Norse mythology, the personification of frost or winter. The saga Orkneyinga Norwegian King Torrey — the son of the snow. In the old Icelandic calendar, the name of the fourth month of winter — it always begins on Friday, between 19 and 25 January and ends on Saturday, between 19 and 25 February.

Linked to the holiday tradition torrablot, torramatur served in style «buffet.» Festivals are very popular in the 1950s, the 1960s, some of them are still held every year. If we consider the boundaries of Reykjavik Iceland and other cities, as a rule, many restaurants offer meat, fish meal cooked «by ancient custom.»

It should be noted that the word «torramatur» anywhere before 1958 was not mentioned when the restaurant «Nёystid» in Reykjavik, founded in 1954, first introduced torramatur menu. This menu (1958) exposed / advertised in the restaurant, recalling the first «torramatur.» The food served in large wooden tubs (just copied from the old tubs at the National Museum of Iceland). The idea was not only to, food tasted old, to a certain extent feel the national culture. It was also an attempt to «revive» the low season for restaurants. And as it turned out, she okapalas so successful that immediately became very popular not only the restaurant «Nёystid» and has been copied and other restaurants. Very soon, many regional and student associations organize festivals torrablot known a lot of fun, dancing and abundant libations at their events began serving food torramatur.

Of course, over the past decade, «torramatur» changed, adapting to modern tastes. The traditional method of preserving meat is dipped into fermented whey, which gives the product a distinctive sour taste, is not familiar to the younger generation of Icelanders in general. Therefore, «torramatur» in today’s day offers a choice — served the same food — «acid portion» and usually cooked — on separate trays (as acid instantly oxidizes any product). Also added a lot of new dishes to the Icelandic «buffet» — torramatur including strictly regional, for this reason, rare and little familiar. Also, changed way of presenting (in wooden tubs) — Today, in most cases the food is served on conventional trays.

Kaystur Hakarl («sour milk» Greenland sharks). Within a few weeks shark meat wander in limbo then he is given to dry (four to five months). Translucent flesh of the belly is called «glerhakarl» (Glass shark), it is not as popular as «skirhakarl ‘(fish meat) of resembles Skira (hence the name). People who have never experienced Kaystur Hakarl, but the risk to try this exotic product, it is recommended to start with a hard «glerhakarl» as «skirhakarl» soft consistency beginners involuntarily causing emetic response. Once a piece is swallowed immediately drink this «feat» glass «Black Death» (as in Ireland called brännvin — svartidёydi — plague), although it can be vodka or whiskey. Kaystur Hakarl has a distinct smell of ammonia and frankly suspicious taste reminiscent of cheese too sharp, well laced with ammonia.
Kaystur Hvalyur — whale meat soaked in serum.

Hardfiskur, simply put «Taranka» or dried fish cod, haddock, catfish). In the past, in the homes where they could not afford flour, baked with it something like a pie. Hardiskur eaten with butter or red algae, and Iceland is a popular snack.

Testimonies — sheep’s head, cut in half, singed (to remove the hair) and cooked without a brain. Sometimes it pre-incubated for preventing lactic acid. Testimonies often serves as a basis for svidasulta (brawn).

There are several superstitious take associated with eating sheep’s head. For example, the ears are considered a restricted area, that they are usually labeled (Set the owner of the animal) and the person who ate them are allegedly accused of stealing. If a small stone under the tongue will not be broken, the child will remain mute. Many Icelanders believe that the eye — the most delicious part of the head.

And yet you some interesting and unusual dishes.

Saltfiskur — salted fish

In Iceland, one of the most used methods for preserving foods — it is salty. The fish is completely covered with salt, which then dries her meat. Before preparing such fish, it is necessary to soak in the water for several hours (or a few days, depending on the size of fish). Traditionally, such a fish is cooked and served with potatoes and bread. Now Icelanders are increasingly prefer to make salted fish in the Spanish or Italian style with tomatoes and olives, for example.

Hangikot — smoked lamb

A festive meal, the name is translated as «hanging meat». Meat smoked on birch wood or with the addition of dried sheep droppings. Then cook and serve hot or cold with peas, mashed potatoes and white sauce, bechamel analogue.

Gellur — cod tongues

If gellur to cook, such as shown in the pictures, in the oven, it is very tasty. But usually gellur simply boiled and served.
Gellur often mistaken for fish tongues, but this fleshy triangular muscle just under the tongue.

Hardfiskur — dried fish

Another popular dish among Icelanders and even foreigners — dried or dried fish, usually cod or haddock. Icelanders eat it literally tons of oil, without which it, to be honest, do not swallow as much fish meat is very dry.

Volcanic bread

Icelandic rye bread is very popular in the country. It is dark in color and has a sweet taste. Eat it with butter and fish or meat. One way to cook it is very curious — ready dough is placed into a metal mold and left for the day, where the volcanoes heat the upper layers of the soil. This bread is called volcanic.

Lundi — Bird deadlock

Typically, the meat is boiled in milk sauce or smoked. The dish most popular in Vestmanskih islands, where there is a whole colony of these birds. Puffins in Iceland is very much like ours, such as pigeons, so eat them without a twinge of conscience.


Hvalspik means «whale oil.» It boiled and smoked in lactic acid. Considered to be one of the main specialties of the country, but now it almost no one eats.

Slatur — blood sausage or pudding

«Slatur» means literally «slaughter.» Slatur made from the entrails, blood and fat of sheep. Sometimes blood pudding served with sweet rice pudding — a rather strange combination.

Hrutspungur — eggs lamb

It is a delicacy in Iceland, although it is now almost no one eats, except on holidays. The appearance of this dish due to the fact that once Iceland was a poor country and the farmers used whatever they could. Eggs are first marinated and then pressed into biscuits or filled gelatin.

Whale Meat

In Iceland, eat minke whale (a kind of whale, which is not under threat of extinction). From whale meat do steaks, kebabs or eat it raw with wasabi and soy sauce. To taste — something between a tuna and beef.

Kotsupa — meat soup

Traditional meat soup made from lamb, potatoes, carrots, onions and turnips. They say very tasty dish.


Maybe not a traditional dish, but it is very popular among Icelanders and foreigners. Skiri — a milk product with a low fat content, slightly reminiscent of yogurt, though it is not. On the basis of thick Skira make a lot of desserts.

Brännvin — «Black Death»

And finally, a popular alcoholic drink «brännvin.» Translated as «burnt wine» made from potatoes and cumin seeds. Icelanders themselves call it it as «Black Death.»

By the way, the price of alcohol in Iceland is very high. Buy a glass of wine or beer can in restaurants, bars and shops in the state, but for the alcohol you will have to pay a fortune.

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