A Grapevine service announcement LOOK BUSY! Bárðarbunga Volcano Watch: The Morning Edition
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(); ?>

New Nordic Cuisine Is Dead

by

My lifelong hatred of dill makes me a terrible champion of New Nordic cuisine. At age seven I swore to my mom I would try my best to eradicate the herb—and now I find myself in a restaurant named after that noxious weed. My skin may be the colour of cauliflower soup, but my taste buds are bulgur brown. It hasn’t helped that the Icelandic food scene has mostly embraced the parts of New Nordic cuisine that suited our aims (reaffirming patriotism and separating tourists from their money) but left out the tricky bits, like carefully sourcing and foraging your

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

The Icelandic Restaurant Name Listicle

by

Before you can name your child in Iceland, you have to run the name by the highly conservative Icelandic Naming Committee. But that’s where the micromanaging stops. You can name your farm Saurbær (“Shitville”), name your horse Hátíð (“Festival”), and name your streets Barmahlíð (“Bosom Hill”) or Völundarhús (“Labyrinth”). Bar and restaurant names are no exception. Here’s an easy-to-digest overview of some of the best and worst of Icelandic restaurant names, inspired by a Buzzfeed listicle we read called “Top 5 Reasons For Top 5 Lists.” Top 5 Questionable Bar/Restaurant Names 5. Harlem It’s closed now, and it was good

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Virus In Imported Meat Might Alter Nation’s Behavior, Warns PM

by

According to Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, a virus that may change people’s behavioral patterns is common among most of the world’s populations, except Iceland, Norway, and, ‘remarkably’, the UK. Sigmundur Davíð admits that this does indeed sound like science fiction, adding ‘but …’, seemingly to imply that reality may prove stranger than fiction. He indicated that this should be kept in mind when shaping agricultural policy, emphasizing as ‘extremely important’ that ‘we remain free of all sorts of infections which are, unfortunately, all to common in very many places’. ‘Might Be Changing The Behavior Of Whole Nations’ ‘Because this

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Grilled Meat In The Summer Rain

by

Kol was somewhat of a puzzle to me: a restaurant that opened its doors early this year to some acclaim, but hasn’t yet reached its full commercial potential—or so I thought. My companion and I graced Kol with our presence on a busy Friday evening. Every seat was filled with people who seemed ready to put the endless summer rain out of their minds by consuming grilled food… and cocktails. Lots of cocktails. Kol is brilliantly situated near the top of Skólavörðustígur, a short distance from Hallgrímskirkja church. The place is designed pretty much like every other new eating establishment

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

Great Grandma’s Recipe, With a Kick

by

Sceptics of Jungian psychology take note: the collective unconscious is most certainly A Thing here in Iceland. How’s that, you wonder? There are lots of good examples, such as the quickly passé, but briefly passionate fad for Tex-Mex-themed confirmation parties. But more to the point, consider the emergence of Reykjavík’s food truck culture. Less than six months ago, it didn’t really exist in Iceland. And then, practically overnight, a handful of carts suddenly blossomed around town, with two of them selling kjötsúpa, or Icelandic meat soup, as their premier item. Having opened in May (slightly beforeits kjötsúpa-serving cousinSúpuvagninn), Farmer’s Soup

Culture
Food
<?php the_title(); ?>

ATTN! Brennivín Models Wanted!

by

Iceland’s signature spirit needs you! They’re looking for six models, aspiring models, or people who just like to have their picture taken, ages 18-35, for a photo shoot at a downtown Reykjavik bar, this coming Monday July 7. In return, you will get a Brennivín t-shirt, lunch and a beer….and you’ll be featured on the Brennivin.com website. You can send a pic and a little about yourself to: info@brennivinamerica.com    

Show Me More!