Eating only what grows in Iceland, how would that go?

by soffiagudrun

I have been thinking about this concept “eating local” and seasonal lately after reading few books by American authors.  We don´t have much seasonal…Kind of only one season, fall.  Potatoes, carrots and roots during fall and lots of berries (picking them myself because usually they don´t sell the Icelandic berries at the supermarket and the few ones you can buy in stores are crazy expensive).  Other than few types of berries we got no fruits.

There is no one that makes oranges, bananas, melons, apples, lemons, you name it, to sell in the stores.

We have big greenhouses making peppers, cucumber, salad leaves, carrots, few different lettuces, broccoli, tomatoes and mushrooms all year round, no special season there, and that´s almost all you get “grown in Iceland”. (Once in a while I find a zucchini).  No onion or garlic, pumpkins or eggplants…only imported

We have of course lots of fish, mussels and other seafood, lamb and beef all year around. Our fish is very fresh, so is the lamb.   Many Icelanders who eat meat eat horse meat and whales when they fish them.   Then we  have chickens and pigs.

We grow barley but  no white flour and no sugar or syrup at all.   Few farmers have been making honey.  A tiny little jar is very expensive, so honey would be luxury.

My boyfriend ate nothing but Icelandic food for a whole month, that meant NO SUGAR and no white flour and no alcohol. We did buy a little jar of honey for him to last the month 🙂  At that time I was pregnant so I was to lazy to participate fully in this experiment, with all my pregnancy cravings 🙂

It was interesting.  It went well, We do have food in Iceland and for sure we would not starve. BUT! I am happy we import some things.  There are few things I couldn´t live with out, like my fruit smoothie in the morning,  sugar for baking, white flour for my pizzas and pasta and last but not least my red wine.

I made these Barley pancakes for my boyfriend during the Icelandic food period using only Icelandic grown food.  They are healthy, simple and good.

Barley pancake patties

  • 1/2 cup Barley flour (ground barley)
  • 1/2 cup Quick cooking Barley, boiled in water with a little bit salt for 5 minutes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk, or enough to make think pancake patties
  • 1-2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix the ingredients well togeather. Melt butter on a pan and add to the batter.  Cook the pancake patties on both sides on a pan, just like pancakes.  With a little bit of white flour mixed with the barley flour they get a little lighter.  I use butter because we don´t have any Icelandic cooking oils.

It´s very good with an egg , salt and dried chili flakes.