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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Iceland: Through the Eye's of an Artist part 9 Food Talk!

'The Picnic Spot'              8x10            pastel           ©Karen Margulis   Iceland Summer 2014
purchase this painting on Etsy $150
I am known as a picky eater. I am getting more adventurous with food so I wasn't worried about eating in Iceland. I had read about some of the stranger foods such as fermented shark and puffin and I wasn't planning on being quite that brave. I felt right at home with the food and had no problems finding something good to eat.

Our home away from home...the Bonus grocery store

Food in Iceland was a fun part of the trip for me. One of my favorite souvenirs is a big yellow bag with a pink pig from the Bonus store which is the grocery store! I loved going into the grocery and convenience stores and going up and down the aisle looking at the different foods. (and sampling lots of junk food) Here are some of my observations about the food in Iceland:

If you like licorice you are in luck. There is a huge supply of licorice in Iceland. It seems like it is in everything including a very interesting black licorice ice cream bar with a liquid black licorice center. It was definitely different and wonderful if you are a black jelly bean kind of person! The stores had a dizzying array of some variation of licorice from chocolate covered to licorice mints!  I quickly learned the Icelandic word for licorice after I thought I bought malted milk balls....nope they were chocolate licorice balls!

A black licorice ice-cream bar with liquid licorice center

I enjoyed trying the junk food in Iceland (I was on vacation after all) There was plenty to choose from including our own Lays chips and Doritos. I found them to be saltier than our chips. On our first day in Iceland we toured Reykjavik and a few of us made out way down to the harbor area to try the famous hot dogs at Bæjarins beztu pylsur which translates to "the best hot dog in town". The line was long but we waited and I got mine plain as usual so I can't really comment on if it was the best in town. It did hit the spot though. I had read that Icelanders love hot dogs and I did notice they were available everywhere.

I'll take my hot dog plain please.

A few yummy cookies that I need to track down now.

During the workshop expedition with Stan we ate well. We shopped locally for food and prepared our meals at our houses. Breakfast was cereals, toast, yogurts and eggs. We had a variety of sandwhich fixings for lunch and most days packed it all up in the Bonus bag and made sandwiches at our picnic lunch stops. Dinners most nights were eaten in and were a team effort. Stan is an excellent cook and prepared a delicious chicken dinner one evening. There were also a few of the workshop participants who were excellent in the kitchen. Catherine and mom Frances pitched in and made some lovely meals including some creative leftovers. Riley put her pastry chef experience to work and whipped up brownies and chocolate and caramel sauce for ice cream. Jack pitched in and ran clean up duty in the kitchen like a well oiled machine. We ate out a a nice local restaurant one night and did the dinner cruise another evening.

Picnic fixings. I love a picnic in a beautiful spot!

Food shopping was also a group effort. It was fun to try to figure out what the food items were. Labels were in Icelandic and were hard to pronounce let alone understand. Luckily labels often had pictures to give clues...a picture of salad must mean salad dressing?? Stan found this delicious cake one day. It reminded us of a yodel. We couldn't pronounce it but I used my translator app and found out it was called Television cake. So we had to have TV cake every time we went to the grocery store!

Sugar? Is that baking soda? What is vanilla sugar? No vanilla?

This must be the salad dressing!

Ahhh, I want some Television cake!

What about traditional Icelandic foods? I had that as well. I did't try the fermented shark chased with a shot of Brennevin though a few of my brave friends did! Lamb is quite popular and I did have the traditional lamb soup twice. It was quite tasty and hit the spot on the cold drizzly days.  You can also find other oddities such as whale and puffin on some menus. I'll stick to TV cake!

Lamb soup with a coke.....yumm!

Delicious fish and chips...I went back again it was so good!

One other observation. There are no Starbucks in Iceland though there are Subways (both staples for my friends and I when we travel in the US)  I loved the local coffee shops. I spend hours in the Kaffitar enjoying the coffee with sugar cubes and sketching and eating cake. Yeah, food was not a problem for me in Iceland!

No I didn't eat at Subway. We tried to stick to local restaurants

The hot drink machine in my Reykjavik hotel was a nice feature

My last coffee and cake at the airport

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely colors in your painting. The hot drink machine is a great idea. TV cake--I could live on that for a week. ;)