A Grapevine service announcement Be patient: That eruption is expected to last until 2015
Culture
Food
Fljótt og Gott

Fljótt og Gott

Published July 13, 2007

The journey down to the BSÍ bus terminal for my first bite of boiled Icelandic sheep’s head was not a cakewalk. I wanted to be a man, but I wasn’t sure about this particular rite of passage. How could I possibly devour the head of the cutest animal in the book? I asked myself what kind of pervert does this stuff just for a restaurant review? As a non-Icelander, I knew that finishing the sheep’s head and all its meat would put me into an irreversible category of carnivore – and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be placed there at age 21.
Things got worse when I actually saw Svið for the first time. I simply had not realised that I would be eating a face with eyelids, ear holes and a mouth. For the first time in my life, my food was looking back at me. Until my fork had utterly ravaged the features of the poor sheep I couldn’t help but picture a girl named Mary posting “lost sheep” flyers around 101.
But the difficulty with stomaching Svið was mainly conceptual, as most of the flesh was quite edible. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t rotten shark either. The meat of the cheeks was stringy (like beef pot roast) and certainly the easiest part to digest. At times it was a little salty, but not too different from eating Swiss steak. The cheek meat disappeared to reveal the hideous gum meat, which looked and felt like the inside of a bell pepper, but my formula of four parts ground turnip for every one part Svið helped me to manage it. It also helped to look away from the plate while I chewed the gums, as the sheep’s flat little chompers were fully exposed at this point.
Once I got over the bizarre reflexive complex of tasting another creature’s tongue, I found that this meat was the best. Ultimately, the only parts I avoided were the fatty underside of the animal’s mouth and the thin layer of skin above the nostrils.
While I won’t be one of the hundreds of customers who buys Svið at BSÍ every week, I can understand where the Icelander’s Svið tradition comes from. Yeah, it’s a sheep’s face, but it’s probably one of the cleanest pieces of meat you’ll ever have. Much cleaner than that hot dog you just ate, anyway.



Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Party Fuel: Your Late Night Eating Guide!

by

It’s Friday, 2:52 in the morning, you’re stumbling out of Hafnarhús after dancing your ass off to The Knife’s last show, and that means you have worked up a crazy appetite. But you’re in Reykjavík: where shops open at 11:00, the liquor store closes at 18:00 and the fastest food you’ll get takes at least ten minutes to serve. Regardless, you need some salty greasy goodness in your belly before you get to bed, or tomorrow is going to be rough! These Airwaves-venue-adjacent eateries should help you hit the spot. The Deli Bankastræti 14 Open until 2:00 on Thursday, 6:00

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

A Bucolic Brew

by

While the drive through the north of Iceland may not offer as diverse an array of neck-craning scenery as the south, its serenity is unparalleled. This much was obvious on the Saturday evening that I set off for Skagafjörður, in search of the Gæðingur microbrewery, where some of Iceland’s finest craft beers are made. Once I turn off Route 1 and meander farther north, scarcely any cars pass. One of the few drivers that ends up in front of me is content to cruise squarely in the middle of the road, drifting over to the right lane only when absolutely

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Soup And Salad, Lunch Not Dinner

by

‘Kryddlegin hjörtu’ is the Icelandic translation of the title of Laura Esquivel’s novel ‘Como agua para chocolate’ or, as it is known in English-speaking countries, ‘Like Water for Chocolate.’ The story was made into a feature film, which proved a massive hit in the early ’90s, even reaching the far northern shores of Iceland. The story’s protagonist is a young woman who can only express herself  through her cooking, as her mother forbids her to pursue her love interest, Pedro. Needless to say, the restaurant has a lot to live up to with a name like that. Kryddlegin hjörtu’s menu

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Everybody Loves Ramen

by

This spring, Tsering Gyal and Kun Sung opened Ramen Momo, Iceland’s first Tibetan restaurant (although it should be noted that it’s not Iceland’s first Himalayan restaurant, which is the Nepalese restaurant Kitchen). Incidentally, Ramen Momo is also Iceland’s first dedicated ramen and dumpling place, which is some impressively specialised stuff for a country that has yet to see its first proper Mexican restaurant. Ramen Momo is located in the building that used to house Paul’s, a fancy English sandwich shop, and before that, Café Haiti, which has since moved to the teal boathouses by the marina. So this tiny hole-in-a-wall

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Rural Evolution

by

This summer saw the birth of two food markets. One of them, a fully fledged outdoor market in Fógetagarðurinn where street food and high-end restaurants mingle. The other, an ongoing series of grassroots pop-up markets with a focus on ethnic cuisine. This new rise in food markets called for a sitdown with the representatives of each—a sort of boozy state of the union for the Reykjavík food scene. RAGNAR: I recently went on a little food excursion outside of Reykjavík. I stopped by Hótel Varmahlíð and they were doing this whole farm-to-table seasonal thing. Have you been? ÓLAFUR: No, but

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Everyone’s A Chef

by

I walk into Salt Eldhús (“Salt Kitchen”) on a rainy summer afternoon that feels chilly enough to be fall. Shaking off in the vestibule, I’m met by owner Auður Ögn Árnadóttir, who shakes my hand cheerfully and invites me to help myself to a cup of coffee and one of her homemade, rainbow-hued macaroons–her specialty. A completely self-taught chef with a background in retail, event planning, and interior decorating, Auður opened Salt as a “teaching kitchen” in 2012. Since then, her (Icelandic-language) classes–ranging from a macaroon workshop to classic sauce and cheese-making courses, as well as guest-taught sessions on regional

Show Me More!