Slideshow: An Intro to Icelandic Food

Pylsur (Icelandic Hot Dogs)
Pylsur (Icelandic Hot Dogs)
Why does everyone obsess over Icelandic hot dogs? Aren't they just hot dogs? Well, they're made with lamb in addition to the usual pork and beef parts. The lamb presence deepens its flavor, and even under a deluge of condiments, you can taste the slight lamby funk at the end. Order it "eina með öllu" (one with everything) for the works: a sweeter brown mustard ("pylsusinnep"), ketchup, raw onions, crunchy deep-fried onions, and a mildly tangy remoulade.

[Photograph: Andrew Strenio]

Pylsusinnep
Pylsusinnep
Pylsusinnep, aka Icelandic hot dog mustard, is sweet and brown, and how awesome is that scampering, toque-wearing hot dog dude?

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Cronions
Cronions
Those deep-fried onion crunchies that come on hot dogs are for sale at the grocery store if you want to bring some home! "They make everything taste 500% better—maybe even 550%," said Robyn, who bought a tub and proceeded to put them on rice, vegetables, and just about every other meal she could.

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Skyr
Skyr
Skyr has a wonderfully creamy, spoonable texture and tastes somewhere between tart Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, and soft-serve. Icelanders eat skyr everyday, anytime: for breakfast, as a snack, for dessert with berries. It's made of pasteurized skimmed milk and a bacteria culture similar to yogurt. [Note: it's technically not yogurt, it's a soft cheese.]

[Photograph: Andrew Strenio]

Skyr-nnaise!
Skyr-nnaise!
Icelanders love skyr so much, they even use it as a creamy base for flavored dipping sauces.

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Sheep's Head
Sheep's Head
Singed and de-brained then boiled, the sheep's head ("svið" in Icelandic) comes with scoops of mashed potato and mashed turnip at Fljótt og Gott, the cafeteria at the BSI Bus Terminal in Reykjavik known for its sheep's head. If you're going to eat sheep's head in Iceland—including the tongue, eyeballs and ears—it should be Fljótt og Gott.

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Harðfiskur
Harðfiskur
Icelanders like to snack on harðfiskur, what's basically fish jerky. The wind-dried haddock comes in various forms: as thin chips, feathery-soft strips, or brittle crunchy pieces. Icelanders usually spread butter on top.
More Harðfiskur
More Harðfiskur
Those aren't potato chips—they're haddock chips!

[Photograph: Andrew Strenio]

Fish
Fish
Icelanders eat a lot of fish, and how could they not being surrounded by bountiful waters of cod, arctic char, haddock, monkfish, herring, skate, and salmon. You'll find fish on menus everywhere, and in our experience, it was usually caught that morning.

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Doritos Cool American
Doritos Cool American
So this isn't a traditional Icelandic food, but we spotted it at a petrol station and had to snap a photo. Icelanders think Americans are cool!
Spreadables
Spreadables
Many flavored spreadables for sale at the grocery market.

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]