"It's not much but it's ours"

Friday, January 18, 2008


The latest jaunt on the EAT MY GLOBE trip sees me being accompanied by the ever charming Magga, manager of Pinchito, to her homeland of Iceland.

She had promised me all sorts of oddities to eat and, I am pretty certain I have some rotten shark and boiled sheep head in my immediate future. But, she was obviously trying to break me in gently with an introduction to the more benign side of Iceland’s cuisine yesterday.

As soon as we arrived at the airport, we were whisked away by Magga’s oldest and dearest chum, Erla (who has been persuaded to vacate her flat in Reykjavik for the duration of my stay so I don’t have to pay the ludicrous hotel prices here. Another act of extraordinary generosity on my trip) to the famous Blue Lagoon where we spent the next couple of hours floating in the sulphurous waters and generally pampering ourselves. And, yes, before you ask, I did wear as face mask. Writers can be pretty too.

By the time we left, it was already dark. Mind you, it seems to always be dark here this time of year. Magga had sated her hunger with a hot dog, apparently a great favourite in Iceland. However, I was starving and Erla pointed her car towards the tiny town of Stokkseyri where, Magga promised me, was one of her favourite places in the whole of Iceland. I was not sure if that was a threat or a promise, but I went along for the ride all the same.

It’s a long old ride too. Across the hills in the driving snow for over an hour. But, it was worth it when we arrived. The town is picture book pretty and, when we approached the restaurant, Fjorubordid, it was swathed in snow with only candles dug into the drifts to light the way.

They only really do one thing on the menu here “village” lobster, in reality langoustines. They come simply boiled and served in melted butter with accompanying side salads. You order by the 250/300/400gm portion.

We all ordered the same and shortly after a huge bowl of the tails arrived steaming alongside some small potatoes.

What can I tell you? These little beauties are caught on the east coast of the island and are sweet as candy. Some had been overcooked until a little mushy, but most still required a pleasing chomp to bite through them. The potatoes were almost as delicious as those I had in Finland and the bread that came alongside some crunchy salads was so good I ladled the remaining sauce over it to finish my meal

It is not cheap. Given the fact that Icelandic prohibition only finished twenty years ago, there is still a Lutheran view of alcohol which shows in the pricing. A little bottle of local beer costs about £6 and a bottle of Pinog Grigio (fit only for your chips at the best of times) comes in at about £50.

We stuck to one beer and water, which still brought the meal to nearly £100.

I am off to explore now. Looking at the prices, I am pretty sure it is not just the sight of half a boild sheep’s head staring back at me which is going to scare me.

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