This blog started out as a cooking website: Jo's Icelandic Recipes. It had long since gone off line and been replaced by this blog. You will find recipes, Icelandic foodstuffs, food culture and history here.
Please post questions under the appropriate recipe. If there is an Icelandic recipe you're looking for, you can either leave a comment or email me (see sidebar) with a request and I'll see what I can do.
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Icelandic foods in the USA
29 shops in the Whole Foods Market chain in the Mid-Atlantic states are now offering Icelandic skyr (vanilla and blueberry flavors, with strawberry and unflavoured coming soon), cheeses and lamb. Icelandic chocolate (Síríus Konsúm) will be available soon, and fresh Icelandic fish will be available in the fall.
The Icelandic exporter expects to start selling the same products in Whole Foods Markets in the North-east USA, including Boston and New York, in September.
I have received a request from someone who wants to know how to cook whale. The recipes are presented here for the curiosity value, as whale is only available in a few countries. I haven't tasted whale since I was in my teens, and I don't expect many of my readers will ever get the chance to try it. The recipes are therefore untested by me. Beef or a good, tender piece of horse-steak can be substituted for whale, in which case you can leave out the beating.
Recipe nr 1: 3/4 to 1 kilo whale meat (or beef/horse) 50 g butter, tallow or lard 2-3 onions Salt and pepper Laurel leaf (optional) 600-700 ml water Sauce colouring (caramel) 50 g flour 200 ml milk
Clean the meat: some say it's enough to slice off about a centimetre off each side of the piece, others recommend soaking in milk overnight. This is only to ensure there will be no oily taste to the meat, but if it has been properly handled in the first place, it will not taste oily. Cut into steaks and beat with a meat mallet. Slice t…
Still in keeping with the Þorri theme, here is a popular food that is a favourite main dish for Christmas and Sundays, as well as being an essential part of the Þorri buffet and a popular cold cut to top bread and flatbread.
Hangikjöt is an old favourite of the Icelanders. For centuries, we have smoked, pickled and dried food for preservation, and hangikjöt is one of the most delicious of the smoked products. Much like in olden times, hangikjöt is not an everyday food, except when used as a topping for bread, skonsur and flatbread. It may be eaten either hot or cold, and is traditionally served with cooked potatoes, white (béchamel) sauce, peas and pickled red cabbage. What follows is a description of the old method used for smoking lamb/mutton to make hangikjöt.
Smoking food, general information:
Smoking is an ancient food preservation method, which leaves the food tasting smoky-delicious. The smoke dries the food and contains preservatives which prevent the food from spoiling quickly…
Continuing with the Þorri theme, here is the single most popular food you will find on the Þorri buffet. It is a popular snack in Iceland, and many people take some with them when they go abroad on holiday.
Of the traditional Icelandic foods, harðfiskur and skyr are probably the two which most appeal to foreigners. I have received several e-mails from people asking how to make harðfiskur or where to buy it abroad, and so I decided it was time to give a description of how it's made.
Many kinds of fish dry well, but traditionally it is mostly cod, haddock and ocean catfish (wolf-fish) that are dried. Flounder also makes excellent harðfiskur, and in some areas of Iceland people also dry arctic char.
Drying haddock, cod and flounder:
Wash the fish and scrape off the slime. Gut the fish and remove the head. Haddock and cod can either be butterflied or filleted before drying. Flounder is filleted. If you butterfly the fish, you must take care to keep the fish spread open while it is dry…