Great Moments In Icelandic Cuisine: The Potato - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Great Moments In Icelandic Cuisine: The Potato

Great Moments In Icelandic Cuisine: The Potato

I could not have lived in Iceland 250 years ago. Why, you may ask? Because the potato had not yet arrived in Iceland at that time. Life would not have been bearable then. The arrival of the potato allowed the pretty-shitty-quality-of-life to improve drastically. Life became better for everyone.

Potatoes are one of the greatest joys of Icelandic cuisine. They are the ultimate comfort food. A spoonful of potato is a spoonful of hope. The potato is ultimately a gift from the gods to Iceland. Prior to the potato, Icelanders had a difficult and dreary existence for hundreds of years. After the potato arrived, the nation was instilled with hope, and they knew that with time, life in Iceland would be better. The potato is now a staple of Icelandic cuisine, and is ultimately a symbol of survival.

Icelandic potatoes exist as a spectrum, by which I mean that Icelanders will eat them in literally every way possible. The most traditional way to eat it is of course boiled, with not even a hint of spices—the Icelandic signature method. Drunk and hungry? French fries are the way to go. #TeamMandi. Need to get some anger out? Go and take it out while making some mashed potatoes! Hungover? Hash or oven roasted potatoes with herbs will have you feeling better in no time. Don’t know how to cook? You can probably figure out how to boil a potato! If you can’t boil water, you’re shit outta luck.

Bonus: This is our favourite potato story.

For more articles on Icelandic cuisine, click here.


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