So, what is the best road trip food in Icelandic Grocery stores? The island of Iceland often surprises people with how large it actually is. Despite the small population, the island is larger than Ireland and Scotland, or roughly the size of Ohio in the United States.
That means you will have to drive a fair bit if you want to travel around the country. Which translates to; ROADTRIP!
And for that, we need food! So, what is the best road trip food from Icelandic Grocery Stores?
Flatkökur, or rye flatbread, is one of the best road trip foods. It doesn’t take much space, is delicious, and is quintessentially Icelandic!
It is believed that the bread tradition dates to the settlement in the 9th century, but for a long time, it was the only bread people knew. Flour was hard to come by, and only the richest had access to it.
Flatkökur is one of the foods eaten at Þorrablót but is also eaten all year round. The most popular toppings are butter, mutton paté, hangikjöt, smoked salmon, and pickled herring. Not all of these are suitable for road trips, though, unless you pack your meals before you leave.
Harðfiskur or fish jerky is probably the best food to take on a road trip with you. It is easy to want to snack while driving, and fish jerky is easy to get and very healthy!
Harðfiskur is very good with butter (and lots of it), making it a bit unhealthier, but it is also excellent on its own!
Harðfiskur is generally haddock, cod, or catfish and is also one of the items eaten at Þorrablót. For the poorest people in Iceland, they couldn’t even afford to make flatbreads, so fish jerky was their bread.
For those who don’t feel like packing their own meals and making their own sandwiches, langlokur or sub sandwiches are the way to go, in our opinion. There are a few companies that make them, but two of our favorites are the Laxaloka (smoked salmon sub) and Eataly (sub with aioli, chicken, pesto, and salad)
Another food item that is very easy to grab is skyr. The largest manufacturers are KEA (from North Iceland), MS (from the capital area), and Arna (lactose-free from the West Fjords).
Skyr used to be a kind of cheese, it was much thicker, and you had to blend it with milk to get the consistency it is today. The skyr you buy today has already been mixed with milk.
There are many flavors, from blueberry and strawberry to crème Brulé and coffee. The lactose-free skyr from Arna is also very good, and they taste just like regular skyr. All Arna products are lactose-free.
Sliced cheese / Hangikjöt / Pepperoni
You will need toppings for your flatbread! Many just eat it with butter, but we recommend trying it with sliced cheese, hangikjöt, or even cheese and pepperoni! It’s not traditionally Icelandic to add the pepperoni, but it is good!
Hangikjöt, or hung meat, is smoked lamb. It is traditionally eaten during Christmas and Þorrablót but sliced; you can eat it on top of any kind of bread all year round. For extra pizzazz, buy “ítalskt salat,” a bread salad (like tuna salad and the like) with peas and carrots. Why it is called “Italian salad” is anyone’s guess since it isn’t Italian in any way. Sometimes it has added hangikjöt as well, and then it is called hangikjötssalat.
If you would like regular bread as well as flatbread, we recommend grabbing “heimilisbrauð” or home bread. It’s not the most special bread in the world, not sourdough or anything. It’s just plain old bread, which is square and great for sandwiches!
Apart from the ones already mentioned, which are great for flatbread, you will also need something extra for the bread. We recommend checking out the variety of bread salads on offer in grocery stores, such as spicy tuna salad, shrimp salad, smoked salmon and shrimp salad, ham and egg salad or cheese salad. It’s all good.
Apples and Bananas
Grab something other than bread on a trip is always a good idea. Apples are good for that. You can generally find a few different apples in every grocery store. You’re not limited to only red or green.
You will also find bananas in every store. Most, if not all, imported bananas are from Chiquita.
Soda Pop and Water
You will need something to drink as well. We recommend you stock up on tap water. Icelandic water is very safe to drink straight from the tap and free. And it is generally considered one of the best tap waters in the world!
But if you would like something else, we recommend you check out Appelsín, which is an orange soda and very Icelandic. Production started in 1955, and shortly after that, people began blending appelsín and malt together to make the Malt last longer since it was more expensive. That drink is now one of the most popular drinks you will find for Easter and Christmas in Iceland.
There’s a new company on the drink market in Iceland called Agla gosgerð. We recommend you check out their Óransín, their version of appelsín. It is very good.
There are a few options for carbonated water like Kristall, Toppur, and Klaki. They also have carbonated water with a little bit of flavor.
Chocolates and Candy
A part of experiencing a foreign country is not just eating the food but also tasting the candy they have on offer. Iceland has maybe a ridiculous variety of candy on offer, and much of it is Icelandic. Icelanders also love putting licorice in everything. Not to worry, it is by all accounts not the same as you find in the US or anything like the salty salmiak of Scandinavia. We even have a whole blog post on Icelandic licorice, and then for licorice tops (a Christmas favorite). But Icelanders also manufacture gummy candy and hard candy. There is usually a whole isle of candy, even two isles, so you won’t have to look far to find it all!
What do you think is the best road trip food?