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Eating in Iceland

One of the things I like about traveling is the chance to try foods from other cultures. Plus, I can try more food than I might normally, since all the walking and other activity balances it all out.

That being said, I still prefer to have some reasonably healthy (and reasonably priced!) meals, so I like renting apartments that have kitchens. Happily the place my friend and I stayed at in Reykjavik had a decent kitchen area, enough for us for the week to have breakfast there, and some dinners.

One of the first things we did the morning after our arrival was check out a local grocery story. I had read a little about them beforehand, but it was still interesting to see. For instance, other than some berries, none of the fruit came from Iceland. It was all from the US, Mexico, Chile, etc. So exactly the same as what I’d get at home.

One of the places I did notice an immediate difference was in the candy, since a lot of their candy has black licorice in it. That was fine with me, since I like black licorice, although I know it’s not a favorite for many Americans.

As for meals out, since everyone in Iceland lives on the coast, they have a lot of fresh fish, which I took advantage of during a couple of our lunches out.

I did not, however, go for whale or puffin – I couldn’t quite bring myself to eat creatures that intelligent or threatened – and I avoided the fermented shark because from everything I’ve heard, it’s pretty nasty.

But during our food tour, I did try horse salami, and it was good, if you like salami; I would never have guessed it was horse. I also enjoyed the unusual rye bread ice cream, lamb hot dog, different take on lobster soup, and the soft cheese called Skyr.

My favorite, though, was our dessert at the end, a fabulous chocolate rose (chocolate mousse with raspberry filling) and raspberry sorbet. It was incredibly rich and decadent, and perhaps a bit extreme after sampling 12 other types of food, but I ate every bit of it. It was one of those cases where even though I didn’t need all of it, it was good enough to finish.

Now back home, I’m getting back to my more moderate eating habits, which is also good, but I don’t at all regret all the tasty Icelandic food, and I’ll look forward to wherever I travel next to see what might come my way.

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