Icelandic cookbooks in English: Delicious Iceland: Tales of unique northern delicacies

If you enjoy gorgeous photography, haute cuisine and chefs on ego trips, this is a book for you. It also happens to be quite informative about Icelandic food and traditional ingredients.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
The book is too big for my scanner,
so I had to borrow an image of the cover from another website.
It is therefore not quite as large as I would have liked.

This prizewinning food book (honorary Gourmand Cookbook Award, 2007) was written by Chef Völundur Snær Völundarson, assisted by Haukur Ágústsson, with photographs by Hreinn Hreinsson, and published by Salka (Iceland), in 2006.

This is a heavy, large format book, more suitable for the coffee table than the kitchen. It combines the subjects of Iceland and cooking, with gorgeous photographs of Icelandic nature, people and food, and text about the same. The recipes are original and were conceived by the author to showcase how Icelandic ingredients can be used in fine cooking.

The author is very central to the book. He writes of his personal experiences and memories connected with food, and he is featured in many of the photographs, doing things like trout fishing, rappelling down a cliff to get seabird eggs, sculpting ice or cooking over hot lava.

There are short chapters on many traditional foods and ingredients, and there is even a chapter (with photos) on the old Þorri food.

While the recipes are all of the kind you could expect to be served in fine restaurants, it doesn’t follow that they are unsuitable for home cooking.

The recipes are heavy on fish and other seafood, but there are also meat recipes, and recipes for desserts.

Examples of recipes:
Creamed sea urchin soup
Fried tern eggs in tempura with aioli, micro basil and garlic roots
Smoked salmon with blini cakes, horseradish cream and trout roes
Cold smoked scallops with vodka jelly, scallion marmalade and Osetra caviar
Sautéed wolf fish in Parma ham and spinach with tomato and scallion risotto
Iceland moss curds
Red wine braised lamb shank with semolina cake
Nut-crusted fillet of reindeer with morel sauce and beet root sauce
Skyr topped with blueberries (one of the handful of traditional recipes in the book)
Brennivín baba

The landscape photography and chapters on traditional food make this a good souvenir of Iceland. There are only a handful of traditional recipes in it, so if you are a foodie looking for traditional or even just typical Icelandic food, this is not the book for you. If, however, you are a food lover and love to cook restaurant-style food and you are not particularly looking for specifically traditional recipes or home cooking, but merely something inspired by Iceland, this book is a good choice, and it would make a gorgeous gift.

At the time of writing, Delicious Iceland costs 5620 kr. in the Penninn book store. There is a baby version that I could not review, that costs 2990 kr.

Practical information:
The measurements are given in cups and spoons.

The book has no index.


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