Text by: Samantha Bazely

Living on a small island in the North Atlantic, a question I get often is “but what do you even eat?” With a small population, Iceland is full of traditions. From holiday celebrations, to folk lore, what gets served at dinner time is no different. There are a few traditional meals that seem to be staples.

Leg of lamb

A slow roasted leg of lamb is one of the most common meals that I have had here in Iceland. Roasted all day, seasoned perfectly, this Icelandic delicacy is easily one of the most versatile meals. Here is how you can make your own leg of lamb at home!

Although this recipe is perfected with Icelandic lamb, here is a recipe for you to give it a try at home:

  • Find a leg of lamb at your local butcher.
  • Puncture holes all over the leg of lamb in insert garlic gloves.
  • Season it with garlic powder.
  • Marinate in the fridge for 2-4 days, turning it each day.
  • Cook at 150C until central heat is 70C (Approximately 3 hours).

Sugared potatoes are the common side dish made with leg of lamb. These are made like this:

  • 1kg boiled fingerling potatoes (peeled), 1dl sugar, 50gr butter, 2tbsp water
  • Brown the sugar on a pan (careful not to burn it)
  • Add butter and stir to mix with the sugar
  • Add water and stir until well combined
  • Add potatoes and simmer on low heat until the potatoes are well covered
  • PRO TIP: use heavy cream instead of water

Fish and potatoes

Living in the North Atlantic, there is no short supply of wonderful fish to eat. Another very common meal being served here is fried fish and boiled potatoes.

  • Haddock, breadcrumbs, aromat, lemon pepper, onion powder, salt, pepper
  • Dredge the fish in egg, then set into the dry mixture (breadcrumbs, aromat, lemon pepper, onion powder, salt, pepper)
  • Melt a deep layer of butter in a hot pan
  • Fry the seasoned fish in the butter (be sure the butter is more than halfway up the side of the fish)
  • Serve with boiled potatoes, sautéed onions, and melted butter

Lamb and fish the commonalities

Although Iceland is home to many different cultural groups, the traditional food seems to find its way into most homes at one point or another. Lamb and fish are two of the easiest products to come by (either in the grocery store, or through a deal with a local farmer). With so many different ways to cook these staples, it’s no wonder that they’re 2 of the most popular meals.