Food of Iceland: Icelandic Glacial Air - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Food of Iceland: Icelandic Glacial Air

Food of Iceland: Icelandic Glacial Air

Published August 7, 2019

Brought to you by
Felix Robertson
Photos by
Art Bicnick

What stage of capitalism even is this? Available in a disturbing number of shops across Reykjavik, Icelandic air is, well, pretty much what it sounds like. You can buy it in a can, but if you want the full experience, you can buy it in a pressurised canister with a special nozzle, so you can pretend you’re in a really, really, hippy version of Mad Max. Oh, and it costs over 1,500 ISK. Isn’t capitalism wonderful?

Even more disturbing, I remember seeing Icelandic air for sale when I visited Iceland back in 2012, suggesting that it has been commercially viable to sell for over seven years, saying things about God and Mammon I don’t want to even think about.

The real question is whether it is actually any good. And here the brilliance of this diabolical commercial scheme becomes clear. For Icelandic glacial air is generally sold in pressurised cans and, unless you’re truly stinking rich, is of limited availability outside of Iceland. Now, try to take a pressurised can through Keflavík Airport, and you can expect a welcome worthy of the Turkish national football team. So you’re pretty much forced to try this air in Iceland which… doesn’t tell you very much about its quality. Were you to generously huff from the canister in the midst of the Port Authority Bus Terminal (which, by the way, I wouldn’t recommend), perhaps you might discern a difference. But in Iceland, it just tastes like a lot of cold air.

Find more food of Iceland articles here.

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