Dining with Icelanders in Reykjavik, Iceland

No matter if it is geyseros, glaciers or guillemots, Iceland is a country bursting with normal wonders and a person that you actually have to check out to visit at minimum after. Ideally my posts from our modern vacation have demonstrated just how a great deal there is to see and do – the landscapes and waterfalls, the geothermal miracles and the wealth of one of a kind encounters. But probably you found one point lacking? Whilst we have fulfilled tons of people on the way, a great deal of what we did was incredibly considerably geared to travellers and, aside from the occasional information, most of our interactions ended up also with other visitors.

Would not it be good if you could experience the real Iceland for a working day, or even just a couple several hours? A extra genuine experience where by you get to meet nearby Icelandic men and women and master a small about their society and day-to-day lives, possibly above a classic Icelandic food. This is where by Dining with Icelanders will come in.

Eating with Icelanders is the brainchild of Helga Kristin Fridjonsdottir, herself an Icelander, and owner of journey advisory Iceland Unwrapped. Iceland Unwrapped is all about connecting individuals with Helga’s homeland in a a lot more immersive way, bringing the interactions amongst persons additional to the fore than could be feasible with a regular tour knowledge, for instance.

Eating with Icelanders is a wholly unique way to get to know Iceland and Icelanders. Helga is an professional traveller herself – acquiring lived in Brazil, Austria, Denmark, Portugal and the Netherlands, as properly as Iceland of training course – and connects readers to Iceland with community people, over a dining encounter, for a really exceptional practical experience.  In our circumstance, we were lucky sufficient that Helga invited our loved ones to sign up for her very own loved ones for meal at her house on one of our final evenings in Iceland, despite the fact that this would not normally be the circumstance considering that Helga has a quantity of distinctive hosts with which she connects her vacation consumers at a variety of distinctive venues.

We have been very warmly welcomed into Helga’s dwelling. She is fluent in Icelandic, English, Danish and Portuguese, and returned from the Netherlands (from wherever she had currently began her business some years before) in 2020 to live in Reykjavik with her spouse, Mike, a communications consultant from Chicago, and teenage son, Gabriel.

We had been incredibly substantially built to really feel at dwelling and inspired to assist ourselves to some appetisers that provided delicious smoked lamb and smoked salmon on buttered rúgbrauð. This rye bread would usually be manufactured in the ground, with the dough often put into a container this kind of as a milk carton and remaining in the geothermally heated earth for 24 hours, and then it’s ready.

I was also fascinated to attempt the harðfiskur – dried fish (in this scenario, haddock) with salted butter as I had read through about this being a common Icelandic snack. It’s Iceland’s respond to to fish jerky and has been well-known in the country for centuries… and is of program also packed with protein, nutritional vitamins and Omega 3 so really a healthy snack, far too. The moment you have tasted it, you will see why it is a staple in Iceland!

It was wonderful to get to know Helga and her family members, and we had an enjoyable chat about a complete assortment of matters, from studying about how Icelanders dwell and the Icelandic education and learning process, to the country’s ground breaking power tasks and dwelling with earthquakes. We even chatted about elves and street diversions, the Katla sequence on Netflix, and Gabby and Mike’s love of Tottenham Hotspur.

For our primary, we had cod that was merely cooked in butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper. This is a fantastic example of how not striving to about-complicate a dish pays huge dividends as the cod was so tasty that it did not need something extra.

It was served with potatoes and greens, as the dialogue moved on to Icelandic cuisine, our Arctic rafting working experience, the pandemic, politics, innovative corporations in Iceland and additional. I was genuinely fascinated to hear how the modern growth in journey to Iceland was observing the tourism business overtake the fishing marketplace, and however Iceland could endure from fishing alone due to the fact this was tested in the course of the COVID pandemic.

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For dessert, we had pönnukökur served with jam – beautifully delicate Icelandic pancakes that are considerably like crêpes. They have been served with rhubarb jam and whipped product and we were being shown how they ended up traditionally crammed, folded in half and then folded all over again into quarters.

I later uncovered that these golden pancakes, which resemble the sun, are typically designed to welcome the initial sunshine in late January in a celebration identified as “Sólarkaffi” when the sun rises higher sufficient above the mountains to glow its rays around the locals.

Ahead of we knew it, a few several hours had flown by. We’d had a truly pleasant night and had been created to come to feel exceptionally welcome we’d appreciated an experience that pretty couple of travelers checking out Iceland would at any time get to practical experience. If this sounds like one thing you’d get pleasure from, be guaranteed to make contact with Helga. She is extremely approachable (in truth, I spoke to her on the web prior to our individual take a look at to Iceland and picked up all kinds of helpful recommendations), and will be only way too delighted to support you. Her Dining with Icelanders encounter can be booked as element of a holistic package that encompasses concealed gems, off-the-beaten-monitor experiences, music and tradition, as nicely as dining.

Scheduling a trip to Iceland yourself? You can watch a video clip from our journey to Iceland right here:


Disclosure: This write-up is sponsored by Iceland Unwrapped. Our vacation to Iceland was also sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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