Icelandic Cuisine

For centuries the various cuisines of Europe have been celebrated and savored. From France to Spain to Italy to Great Britain, the countries of the continent have developed unique and delectable ways of preparing food (wait, scratch Britain…at least until they rename the stuff they call pudding). But what about some of the lesser-known cuisines of the region? What about, say, Iceland? Well, they’ve got some rockin Vodka, that’s a given, but have you ever tried smoked puffin? What about fermented shark or lamb smoked over dried sheep dung (hmmm, the dung gives it a tantalizing little tang…why don’t we use more dung in our cooking?). Well, it may be time to celebrate Icelandic cooking, or so says this piece in the Times today that takes a look at noshing in the North.

Icelandic food producers, it seems, are eager to market their wares here and are coming up with creative ways of getting the point across, like coming up with a marketing campaign to market food under a logo entitled “Sustainable Iceland” (gosh, that’s catchy). Whether it works is another matter, given that they are using Icelandic names for some products like “smjor” (butter), “skyr” (a kind of cheese), and “Hofdingi” (well, another cheese), which will challenge the American tongue in more ways than one.