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7 Culinary Reasons to Visit Iceland

7 Culinary Reasons to Visit Iceland

These are of the best kept 'food secrets' of Iceland

Iceland might be know for outdoor activities and beautiful landscapes, but the country is also home of some great culinary adventures.

Looking to find the best local places to eat and discover a culture when traveling? If visiting Iceland, it might then be worth looking up one of the newest features of the country’s tourism campaign, “Inspired by Iceland.”

Click here to see the 7 Culinary Reasons to Visit Iceland (Slideshow)

Aiming to inspire travelers to seek out different “secrets” that the country has to offer, local Icelanders share their knowledge and personal favorite places, activities, and things about Iceland - from someone’s favorite record store to a secret family recipe, or a spot by the lake with the very best view of the Northern Lights. These tips will give visitors “a whole new Iceland, focusing on hidden adventures and experiences that up until now, have been kept under wraps,” according to press release.

The campaign “Share the Secret” covers a wide variety of themes from Icelandic nature and culture, with insider tips on food, design, music, shopping, and adventure. An interactive map of secrets forms a hub for collecting and sharing these tips and experiences, showing where inn the country each “secret” can be found.

The “Share a Secret” site is full of interesting and surprising ideas of things to do, and eat. Who knew that Iceland is the home to as special bread made by burying it near a hot spring, where the heath of the ground will cook the bread? Or that there is a village where fishermen will show you how to cook a four-course meal of local seafood? To see more of our favorite Icelandic food-secrets, click through our slideshow here.


Hákarl (an abbreviation of kæstur hákarl Icelandic pronunciation: ​ [ˈcʰaistʏr ˈhauːˌkʰa(r)tl̥] , referred to as fermented shark in English) is a national dish of Iceland consisting of a Greenland shark or other sleeper shark that has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. [1] It has a strong ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste, making hákarl an acquired taste. [2]

Fermented shark is readily available in Icelandic stores and may be eaten year-round, but is most often served as part of a þorramatur, a selection of traditional Icelandic food served at the midwinter festival þorrablót.

A national icon

In the small lakeside town of Laugavautn, proprietor of Laugavatn Fontana geothermal baths Sigurður Rafn Hilmarsson has become something of a national icon for his Icelandic rye bread, or rúgbrauð. He has prepared loaves for countless visitors, including Iceland&rsquos current president, Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson. When I asked Hilmarsson what makes his bread so special, his reply was unexpectedly modest.

&ldquoIt has a bit more sugar in it than most,&rdquo he said.

While it&rsquos true that the sugar content results in a taste and consistency more akin to that of cake, most would argue that the most remarkable element of Hilmarsson&rsquos rúgbrauð is not so much in its recipe as in its traditional preparation. Unlike most breads, Hilmarsson&rsquos is baked underground, buried in a bubbling geothermal pit.

Skyr - The Icelandic Yogurt

Skyr is a really well-known Icelandic product. It has been a part of Icelandic cuisine for over a thousand years. Skyr is a cultured dairy product with the consistency of yogurt. It is very similar to Greek yogurt, but the flavor is milder.

Icelanders usually eat skyr with milk and fruit or berries, but it is also popular to use it in smoothies, ice cream and in the 'skyrkaka', a lighter and popular alternative to cheesecake. Technically, Skyr is a soft cheese although it is widely regarded as a yogurt.

Recently Skyr has been gaining popularity in other countries, and it is becoming more and more visible in grocery stores in countries such as the United States and England.

3. live casually + eat elegantly

The culture onboard was casual and relaxed. The ship itself was beautiful, with multiple decks and places to unwind. In our down time, we rented movies from the lounge, got massages, and hung out in the hot tub.

And yet, we ate like queens. Croissants for breakfast, a gigantic salad bar for lunch, and local sea bass for dinner. Drinks from the ship’s bar whenever we wanted. Cookies and cakes for dessert. The list goes on.

When I travel, I love eating good food. But I don’t aways want to dress up to get it. White linen dinners can be nice, but it gets old after a while. With Windstar, we were able to live a relaxed lifestyle and still enjoy absolutely delicious food.

Early Bird // Get 3 for 2

Traveling together is more fun! Share your experience and buy one for you and one for a friend. To support your crew, we'll gift you the 3rd set for free!

Funding period

Mar 9, 2021 - Apr 14, 2021 (36 days)

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These 10 Countries Have the World’s Healthiest Foods

With the availability of healthy food in a country, people will live healthy. Any country?

Healthy life is actually very easy to apply through the healthy food we consume every day. Healthy foods that contain balanced nutrition, fiber, and even substances needed by the body, should be presented as a daily menu. The goal is to build immunity and also support the growth process.

Here are 10 countries that have healthy food that is claimed as the healthiest food in the world. :


Fish is the favorite menu of these citizens. Icelandic government regulations are even very strict on regulation and supply of fresh fish. Fatty acids the body needs such as omega-3 is very beneficial for the body. No wonder people in Iceland on average have a longer life until aged over 80 years.


Sushi turned out to be food that sits in the first rank as &hellip

15 Harsh truth: The Empire State Building Is Overrated

Once upon a time, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world. Those days have long since passed, but the building is still the 6 th tallest in the United States. It became even more famous for its role in King Kong, and millions of people still visit the iconic tower every year.

It’s also become a top spot for romantic dates and proposals. If you’re not planning something romantic, you might want to skip it. Even if you are planning to pop the question, you may want to do it somewhere other than this crowded tourist hotspot.

Investing for the future

After the 2008 banking crisis, Iceland’s tourism boom helped to propel the country into an impressive economic rebound. But while the rapid growth in foreign arrivals created jobs and revenue, it also outpaced the government’s ability to build the infrastructure that was needed to manage so many new visitors. Now, with tourist numbers low, the government has a chance to catch up.

This year, the Icelandic government is investing roughly 1.7 billion Icelandic krona (about $12.3 million) in infrastructure at both public and private tourist spots across the country, said Skarphedinn Berg Steinarsson, director general of the Icelandic Tourist Board. Roughly 1 billion krona has been set aside for infrastructure at national parks, protected areas and large public tourist sites, while 700 million krona is going into the country’s Tourist Site Protection Fund. The investments were already being planned last year, but the government increased the funding after the pandemic hit. Further investments will support harbor and road improvements throughout the country.

The improvements at tourist sites have two goals, Mr. Steinarsson said in an interview, “allowing them to receive bigger numbers — creating parking spaces, walking paths, etc. — but also preserving the nature to make sure that the sites will not be worn down when we get the visitors back.”

The largest grants from the Tourist Site Protection Fund are supporting the construction of a viewing platform on Bolafjall Mountain in the Westfjords, he said, as well as infrastructure at Studlagil Canyon, where a viewing platform is being installed as well as new walkways, toilets and information signs. These improvements are meant to keep tourists safe (the Bolafjall site features a steep cliff), while also protecting the landscape from environmental damage and improving the overall visitor experience.

The Studlagil Canyon is an example of a phenomenon that is not uncommon in Iceland: a site that was created not by the hosts, but by the visitors. The canyon — which features dramatic basalt-column cliffs lining the banks of a glacial-fed river — was “discovered” as an attractive destination only recently, Mr. Steinarsson said, after the river’s flow was made much calmer following the construction of a nearby hydroelectric plant.

“This is one of those sites that are created on social media,” Mr. Steinarsson said. “But there’s no infrastructure there, no parking sites, no toilets. What happens when you start allowing 100,000 or 500,000 visitors? Everything gets torn down because nothing is designed to accommodate that.”

Now the government is working with the owners of the land to build pathways, parking spaces and toilets. The goal, Mr. Steinarsson said, is to ensure that visitors can enjoy the site “without spoiling anything.”

The kind of infrastructure being installed at Studlagil is already in place at most of Iceland’s more established destinations, particularly in the Golden Circle — an area not far from Reykjavik that includes some of the country’s most famous tourist destinations: Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir Geothermal Area and Thingvellir National Park, among other spots. While the infrastructure in those areas is already fairly good, Mr. Steinarsson said, any areas that are particularly fragile will need continual upkeep — and funding — to protect against damage from visitors.

Plenty of Icelanders would have seen these places over the last several months, and enjoyed them with smaller crowds than usual. A marketing campaign encouraging Icelanders to explore their country was rolled out in the late spring (“Island — komdu med!” or “Iceland — come join us!”), while the government’s travel voucher campaign helped to jump-start demand for hotels, restaurants and attractions. So far, Icelanders have used more than $1.2 million worth of their free travel vouchers, which are valid through the end of the year. The most popular spots have been FlyOver Iceland, an attraction in Reykjavik Islandshotel, a hotel chain and Blue Lagoon, the geothermal spa near the country’s biggest airport.

“It was a success,” said Mr. Steinarsson of the efforts to encourage domestic tourism. “Icelanders really enjoyed their country during the summertime. And that’s what counts.”


Mastering the skill of cooking with high heat &mdash whether on a grill or in a sauté pan &mdash is at the core of this popular cruise ship cooking class. From achieving the perfect sear marks on a rib eye to bringing forth the flavour-enhancing char of a grilled flatbread, your Chef Instructor teaches techniques for perfect high heat cooking every time. Also learn how to use a digital thermometer, achieving internal cooking temperatures and the pillars of perfect protein cookery.

What's So Great About Cooking? Four Reasons (and Resources) to DIY

You might have heard by now that fast food is (mostly) bad for you. Junk food is clogging our collective arteries and making our nation fat. Soft drinks are giving us diabetes and even that innocent restaurant salad can have three times as much fat as a Big Mac.

Americans eat almost half of all their meals out, and many say that is the problem. It's time we start re-occupying our own dining room tables, cooking in those newly remodeled granite-countertopped kitchens and learning from mom how to make her spaghetti sauce.

But really, what’s so great about cooking? Why is it touted as a solution to our nation’s troubles?

There are four clear reasons to brave the kitchen, battle the dirty dishes and deal with whiny kids who would rather eat pizza from Dominoes every night.

1. Cooking at home is better for the environment.

“Without question, it takes less energy and resources to cook at home,” says David Pimentel, Professor Emeritus at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. Pimentel explains it takes seven kilocalories of energy to produce food, but processing, packaging and transporting it takes another ten. In plain language, that means it takes more than double the amount of energy to process food than it does to grow it.

Considering then that processed food also is often frozen (= more energy) and cooked again (even more energy), with each purchase of a frozen pizza or frozen dinner, you are using close to twice as many resources to feed yourself than it takes your neighbor to cook at home.

2. It is less expensive to cook food yourself

Contrary to all the hype about how eating at Burger King is cheaper than a home cooked meal, this cliché has turned out not to be true. Now measured in several different ways, the only way fast food is actually “cheaper” is if you compare it solely on calories. Comparing serving size, weight, or nutritional content, home cooked meals come out ahead in price.

The fact that fast food is not cheap has also now driven home by other studies. One conducted by University of California - Davis found that those making $60,000 (not the poor) are most likely to visit fast food chains. The CDC reports it is the middle class with more obesity problems than those with less money. But studies also say that households making less than $150,000 a year are "financially strained." So why not stop eating out and save some money?

Of course your time is also valuable. One way to minimize the time you spend shopping is to try an online grocer or a shopping service (there is even one just for college students living in dorms). Or how about giving the shopping list to the neighbors kid and paying them $10 to do the shopping for you? And how about swapping meals with a friend?

It is "convenience" and not price that is the reason for people eating out. So try making your cooking easier, and save some money while you are at it.

3. Food you cook is healthier

Most people do not cook at home with a deep fat fryer and the majority of home recipes do not call for high fructrose corn syrup. Simply put, you would be hard pressed to make the food you cook yourself as unhealthy as the frozen pizzas, pre-prepared veggie burgers and fried egg rolls touted to make your life “easier.”

Plus, the more you process food, the less nutritious it becomes. Drying, for example, can affect the nutritional value of foods up to 80 percent. Freezing loses 30 percent of food's Vitamin C and 10 percent of its Potassium. And reheating already cooked food also decreases its Vitamin B12, Thiamin and Vitamin C by 45 Percent.

"Research suggests that people who prepare food at home (versus food prepared outside the home) do eat healthier," emails Juliana Cohen, a Research Fellow in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "They consume fewer calories, less saturated fat and sodium, and more fiber and micronutrients per eating occasion."

And exposing your kids to all kinds of food – some of it they know and like, and some they hate and will whine about – will also make them adults with a better rounded palate. They will know what an avocado is and how it tastes, what real brussel sprouts look like and that they love green beans. They will be more likely to eat fiber and real fruits.

4. Food you cook is tastier (even if you kind of suck at cooking)

No adult fondly remembers a frozen or packaged meal as their favorite unless no one in their home cooked. What brings back good memories? Mom’s ziti sauce or the boxed macaroni and cheese? Grandma’s chicken soup or soup from a can? The answers are obvious, no matter how unoriginal the recipe.

With the internet there are literally thousands of recipes to pick from instantaneously, family favorites for years to come at your fingertips. You can even filter out recipes now for only those that are quick and cheap with Yummly (you can also add taste preferences and other food restrictions on the site) or Punchfork can help you pick the most popular dishes from hundreds of food blogs. EatatHomeCooks can provide you with quick and easy recipes and shopping lists for an entire week.

In the end, I think Marion Nestle sums up the reasons for eating at home well:

"I can think of any number of reasons why cooking at home is a good idea," says Nestle via email. "You have better control of ingredient quality, freshness, portion size, and calories. At home food can cost a whole lot less for what you are getting than restaurant or pre-prepared foods. It can be a whole lot better for you. It’s a terrific way to teach kids about the taste, texture, and pleasure of food. And it can be a great family bonding experience. And once you get the hang of it, it really doesn’t have to take all that much time or effort."

Watch the video: Με άλλο μάτιΒασιλακάκη-Καρκαζής-Χριστοφάκηςγια 1ο επιστημονικό Συνέδριο Χίου 011018 (November 2021).