The new year has greeted us with exceptionally beautiful (but cold) weather and some wonderful Northern light displays. When packing for your stay, think in freezing temperatures: building snowmen, hiking up frozen hills to view waterfalls and feeling the cold nibble at your cheeks as you take in the night sky. Also, think like an Icelander and eat plenty of good food:
Eat, drink and be merry
Now is the season to try the most traditional of Icelandic food: Þorramatur. Yes, that is an actual word describing an ensemble of dishes such as hangikjöt (smoked leg of lamb), lifrarpylsa (liver sausage, hrútspungar (ram’s testicles), svið (boiled sheeps head) and hákarl (fermented shark) - all served with plenty of sweet rye bread.
Don’t fret if this list doesn’t sound appetising - you can still join in the Þorri festivities by having a shot of Brennivín at the Hótel Rangá bar. Brennivín, Iceland signature alcoholic beverage, is a clear unsweetened schapps flavored with cumin. It’s best served frozen, so that it’s cold going down but warms the heart.
A healthy travel companion
Americans have beef jerky – Icelanders have harðfiskur!
Harðfiskur or “hard-fish” is dried fish, also known as stockfish in English. It’s most commonly made with cod, haddock or catfish and used to be one of the main features of the Icelandic diet. Today, it is mostly eaten as a snack – often with butter – and can be a very handy bite during a road trip or a hike. Harðfiskur doesn’t spoil for years (although we don’t recommend keeping it that long) and 100g of haddock contains 80 to 85% of protein.
Warm belly = warm heart
We love our chef’s famous cream of mushroom soup. It is one of the most popular dishes on the Hotel Rangá menu and in fact when it was substituted for a different item a few years ago some of our regulars got so upset that it was promptly brought back.
The soup is the perfect rich and creamy pick-me-up your body craves on a cold winter’s day and yet, it still feels light and warm in your tummy.