Today is Sprengidagur, which literally translates to “Bursting Day”. The idea here is you’re supposed to eat a whole lot of food in preparation for Lent. Traditionally, that means eating a lot of salted meat and split bean soup.
Múlakaffi is one of the largest cafés in Iceland that serves this traditional fare, as well as one of the oldest, having been in business since 1962. They make more than 450 liters of soup and around 900 kilos of salted lamb. In the video below, one of their head chefs speaks to us and tells us a little bit about the traditions surrounding this day, and about the food itself.
Salted lamb meat and yellow peas are the centerpiece of this holiday, which might seem a bit like having your dinner after eating dessert, but reversing the natural order of things is healthy every once in a while.
During the time of the earliest mentions of Sprengidagur, in the mid 18th century, smoked lamb was typically eaten. In those days, salt was actually in short supply, but by the late 19th century, salted lamb replaced its smoked counterpart as the main course for this holiday meal.
Many restaurants in town will be open on this day, and a good many of them may be offering salted lamb and yellow peas.
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