Want a quintessentially Icelandic way to achieve a rapidly diminishing bank balance and even more rapidly growing waistline? Look no further than the humble snúður (literally ‘twist’), our native species of cinnamon roll.
Ok so we grudgingly acknowledge that the cinnamon roll may not be a uniquely Icelandic delicacy–rumour has it that it’s kind of a Scandanavian thing. But the Icelandic cinnamon roll is nevertheless a distinctive breed, easily spotted by its thick icing, preferably of the chocolate variety. They are also identifiable by their impressive girth-if your snúður isn’t the size of your head, it’s not big enough. After all, it takes a seriously sized pastry to get you through an Icelandic winter.
No one is quite sure of the circumstances surrounding the cinnamon bun’s birth, but we haven’t got any proof it wasn’t an Icelander’s idea (no matter what the Swedes say). At any rate, cinnamon has been knocking around the island since European merchants brought it back from Sri Lanka some time around the 13th century.
We’re Going On A Bun Hunt
Pretty much any café, bakery or supermarket will sell you a snúður, but finding a good one is a different story. Guidebooks will direct you to the poster-boy for Reykjavik bakery culture, Brauð & Co, but if we’re being picky the bakery offers a snúður that is perhaps a little more pan-Nordic in style. (Although their blackberry and liquorice spin on the classic has to be commended). For the true doughy, chocolate-covered Icelandic affair your best bet is Sandholt. This bougie bakery may not be the cheapest on the block, but boy is it worth every krona. Be sure to grab a kókómjólk if you really want to blend in with the locals.
Right, we’re off to enjoy a snúður and partake in all our other eye-rollingly-stereotypical nordic pastimes…I dunno beers and beards or something?
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