Dining with Icelanders in Reykjavik, Iceland

Regardless of whether it is geyseros, glaciers or guillemots, Iceland is a region bursting with normal wonders and one that you seriously need to try to visit at least when. Ideally my posts from our modern vacation have demonstrated just how much there is to see and do – the landscapes and waterfalls, the geothermal miracles and the wealth of exclusive experiences. But potentially you noticed one particular factor lacking? Even though we have fulfilled lots of people on the way, substantially of what we did was incredibly considerably geared in direction of holidaymakers and, apart from the occasional guidebook, most of our interactions were also with other travellers.

Would not it be wonderful if you could working experience the genuine Iceland for a day, or even just a several several hours? A extra authentic encounter in which you get to meet up with community Icelandic individuals and master a little about their society and working day-to-day lives, probably above a conventional Icelandic meal. This is wherever Eating with Icelanders comes in.

Dining 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 persons with Helga’s homeland in a a lot more immersive way, bringing the interactions concerning men and women a lot more to the fore than could possibly be probable with a traditional tour expertise, for instance.

Eating with Icelanders is a totally distinctive way to get to know Iceland and Icelanders. Helga is an experienced traveller herself – acquiring lived in Brazil, Austria, Denmark, Portugal and the Netherlands, as nicely as Iceland of class – and connects people to Iceland with neighborhood folks, more than a eating experience, for a genuinely distinctive experience.  In our scenario, we were lucky ample that Helga invited our family members to join her have family members for dinner at her property on one of our final evenings in Iceland, despite the fact that this would not often be the scenario because Helga has a amount of diverse hosts with which she connects her vacation shoppers at a wide range of unique venues.

We were being extremely warmly welcomed into Helga’s home. She is fluent in Icelandic, English, Danish and Portuguese, and returned from the Netherlands (from wherever she had currently commenced her firm some several years before) in 2020 to dwell in Reykjavik with her spouse, Mike, a communications expert from Chicago, and teenage son, Gabriel.

We were really a great deal manufactured to feel at property and inspired to support ourselves to some appetisers that included mouth watering smoked lamb and smoked salmon on buttered rúgbrauð. This rye bread would customarily be built in the ground, with the dough often put into a container this sort of as a milk carton and left in the geothermally heated earth for 24 hrs, and then it is ready.

I was also fascinated to try the harðfiskur – dried fish (in this situation, haddock) with salted butter as I had go through about this currently being a common Icelandic snack. It is Iceland’s remedy to fish jerky and has been preferred in the state for centuries… and is of system also packed with protein, natural vitamins and Omega 3 so rather a nutritious snack, also. Once you’ve tasted it, you are going to see why it’s a staple in Iceland!

It was charming to get to know Helga and her loved ones, and we experienced an fulfilling chat about a full range of topics, from discovering about how Icelanders reside and the Icelandic schooling method, to the country’s innovative electrical power initiatives and living with earthquakes. We even chatted about elves and road diversions, the Katla collection on Netflix, and Gabby and Mike’s like of Tottenham Hotspur.

For our key, we had cod that was basically cooked in butter, and seasoned with salt and pepper. This is a great case in point of how not hoping to around-complicate a dish pays huge dividends as the cod was so tasty that it didn’t will need something a lot more.

It was served with potatoes and greens, as the conversation moved on to Icelandic delicacies, our Arctic rafting encounter, the pandemic, politics, progressive companies in Iceland and additional. I was actually fascinated to hear how the recent growth in vacation to Iceland was seeing the tourism industry overtake the fishing sector, and nonetheless Iceland could endure from fishing alone due to the fact this was proven all through the COVID pandemic.


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For dessert, we had pönnukökur served with jam – wonderfully delicate Icelandic pancakes that are substantially like crêpes. They were served with rhubarb jam and whipped product and we were revealed how they were being customarily crammed, folded in fifty percent and then folded once more into quarters.

I later on uncovered that these golden pancakes, which resemble the sunlight, are generally created to welcome the 1st sunshine in late January in a celebration known as “Sólarkaffi” when the sun rises significant enough over the mountains to shine its rays above the locals.

Ahead of we knew it, three hrs had flown by. We’d experienced a seriously enjoyable night and experienced been made to come to feel extremely welcome we’d loved an encounter that really couple visitors checking out Iceland would ever get to experience. If this seems like some thing you’d delight in, be confident to call Helga. She is very approachable (in fact, I spoke to her on the internet prior to our individual check out to Iceland and picked up all kinds of beneficial tips), and will be only much too happy to assistance you. Her Dining with Icelanders encounter can be booked as aspect of a holistic bundle that encompasses concealed gems, off-the-crushed-observe activities, tunes and tradition, as effectively as eating.

Scheduling a trip to Iceland oneself? You can check out a video clip from our vacation to Iceland listed here:

https://www.youtube.com/enjoy?v=KNcJZYAzftk

Disclosure: This put up is sponsored by Iceland Unwrapped. Our excursion to Iceland was also sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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