Dining with Icelanders in Reykjavik, Iceland

Whether or not it is geyseros, glaciers or guillemots, Iceland is a region bursting with normal wonders and one particular that you really need to consider to take a look at at the very least after. With any luck , my posts from our recent excursion have demonstrated just how substantially there is to see and do – the landscapes and waterfalls, the geothermal wonders and the prosperity of exceptional encounters. But maybe you recognized one detail lacking? Although we have met a lot of individuals on the way, a great deal of what we did was very a great deal geared to tourists and, apart from the occasional manual, most of our interactions ended up also with other visitors.

Would not it be good if you could working experience the authentic Iceland for a day, or even just a couple hrs? A additional genuine working experience wherever you get to meet neighborhood Icelandic people today and study a minimal about their lifestyle and day-to-working day life, probably over a traditional Icelandic meal. This is where Dining with Icelanders arrives in.

Dining with Icelanders is the brainchild of Helga Kristin Fridjonsdottir, herself an Icelander, and operator of journey advisory Iceland Unwrapped. Iceland Unwrapped is all about connecting folks with Helga’s homeland in a extra immersive way, bringing the interactions in between people far more to the fore than might be doable with a classic tour knowledge, for example.

Dining with Icelanders is a completely distinct way to get to know Iceland and Icelanders. Helga is an professional traveller herself – owning lived in Brazil, Austria, Denmark, Portugal and the Netherlands, as very well as Iceland of training course – and connects site visitors to Iceland with area folks, above a eating come across, for a genuinely one of a kind expertise.  In our circumstance, we had been lucky enough that Helga invited our household to sign up for her personal loved ones for evening meal at her home on one of our last evenings in Iceland, even though this would not constantly be the scenario because Helga has a number of distinct hosts with which she connects her journey shoppers at a variety of distinct venues.

We were very warmly welcomed into Helga’s household. She is fluent in Icelandic, English, Danish and Portuguese, and returned from the Netherlands (from exactly where she had by now commenced her organization some years earlier) in 2020 to reside in Reykjavik with her husband, Mike, a communications consultant from Chicago, and teenage son, Gabriel.

We had been very significantly created to really feel at property and inspired to aid ourselves to some appetisers that provided delectable smoked lamb and smoked salmon on buttered rúgbrauð. This rye bread would customarily be made in the ground, with the dough normally place into a container these as a milk carton and left in the geothermally heated earth for 24 hours, and then it is prepared.

I was also fascinated to try out the harðfiskur – dried fish (in this situation, haddock) with salted butter as I experienced browse about this being a popular Icelandic snack. It’s Iceland’s remedy to fish jerky and has been well-known in the state for centuries… and is of study course also packed with protein, natural vitamins and Omega 3 so quite a healthier snack, way too. As soon as you have tasted it, you will see why it is a staple in Iceland!

It was charming to get to know Helga and her family, and we experienced an pleasing chat about a complete selection of matters, from discovering about how Icelanders live and the Icelandic instruction system, to the country’s revolutionary strength initiatives and residing with earthquakes. We even chatted about elves and road diversions, the Katla collection on Netflix, and Gabby and Mike’s adore of Tottenham Hotspur.

For our key, we experienced cod that was merely cooked in butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper. This is a terrific illustration of how not striving to more than-complicate a dish pays big dividends as the cod was so tasty that it did not require anything extra.

It was served with potatoes and greens, as the discussion moved on to Icelandic delicacies, our Arctic rafting encounter, the pandemic, politics, innovative companies in Iceland and far more. I was actually fascinated to hear how the the latest growth in vacation to Iceland was viewing the tourism market overtake the fishing field, and nonetheless Iceland could endure from fishing on your own because this was verified for the duration of the COVID pandemic.

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For dessert, we experienced pönnukökur served with jam – splendidly fragile Icelandic pancakes that are substantially like crêpes. They have been served with rhubarb jam and whipped cream and we have been proven how they have been traditionally filled, folded in 50 percent and then folded yet again into quarters.

I later found out that these golden pancakes, which resemble the sunshine, are typically made to welcome the first sunshine in late January in a celebration called “Sólarkaffi” when the sunlight rises large sufficient over the mountains to shine its rays more than the locals.

In advance of we realized it, a few several hours had flown by. We’d experienced a definitely enjoyable evening and had been produced to truly feel extremely welcome we’d loved an practical experience that extremely couple of vacationers browsing Iceland would at any time get to knowledge. If this appears like anything you’d get pleasure from, be confident to get in touch with Helga. She is quite approachable (in reality, I spoke to her on line prior to our very own take a look at to Iceland and picked up all sorts of practical strategies), and will be only too happy to enable you. Her Eating with Icelanders knowledge can be booked as section of a holistic bundle that encompasses concealed gems, off-the-crushed-keep track of experiences, tunes and lifestyle, as perfectly as eating.

Scheduling a journey to Iceland you? You can check out a online video from our excursion to Iceland listed here:


Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Iceland Unwrapped. Our trip to Iceland was also sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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