The question is similar to this one. I'm going to Iceland and I'd like to bring home some ingredients which are specific for Icelandic cuisine but are hardly purchasable in Central Europe.

Anything simple like snack would work fine.

It should survive the flight as well.

Any recommendations?


Being a treeless island with a harsh climate, there are few natural ingredients that are specific to Iceland that are not available on mainland Europe. Some exceptions include puffin and whale meat, however, it is likely illegal to import those into your home country. Iceland does have some amazing quality lamb and dairy goods (e.g., skyr), however, it might also be difficult to take those home. With that said, there are a number of prepared foods that are unique to Iceland and are difficult to find elsewhere:

  • Hákarl: dried putrified shark;
  • Harðfiskur: dried fish;
  • Brennivín: liquor, similar to akvavit; and
  • Tópas and Opal: licorice/menthol liquors.

The makers of Opal also make a candy of the same name that tastes just like the liquor. It's great for getting the children hooked on the flavor from a young age ;-)

While you are in Reykjavík, make sure to get some hot dogs at Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur; they are perhaps the best I have had anywhere in the world. I am not sure if they sell their raw sausages, but if they do, that would definitely be something I would want to take home if I were there again.

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    I'm going to go out and book my ticket to Iceland to buy some of that putrefied shark! From the link: "Hákarl is an acquired taste... similar to very strong cheese slathered in ammonia." Jun 23 '11 at 18:50
  • From my limited experience with it, it smells terrible, but it is actually quite pleasant and mild when eaten (as long as one avoids inhaling the ammonia vapors).
    – ESultanik
    Jun 23 '11 at 18:57
  • Someone told me those hot dogs were made with horse meat - they eat the ponies in Iceland, it is traditional. WTH you get salami like that in Corsica, and donkey salami as well. Jun 23 '11 at 21:38
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    @James Barrie: horse meat is eaten in many parts of Italy and it's supertasty, you should definitely try it. Donkey salami is also found in Northern Italy, but also in Sardinia, Southern France and possibly somewhere in the South of Italy (not sure).
    – nico
    Jun 24 '11 at 9:51
  • @James: I believe they are mostly lamb (maybe a mixture of lamb and beef), but horse meat tastes very similar to beef, so the sausages may actually include horse. As @nico mentioned, horse meat is supertasty and widely eaten throughout the world (I recently had it raw in Japan, for example).
    – ESultanik
    Jun 24 '11 at 11:19

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