Rick Stein’s Long Weekends [Week Two: Reykjavik]

We watched this last night. Far away the best show he has done. Encapsulating the food and history of the country in such a concise way.

The Icelanders did not fish for the first 500 years of settlement and chopped down all the trees so they had to cure almost their meat rather than salt it by boiling seawater from salt. That reliance on curied meat gave their food a rather acidic taste. They also did not have much in the way of fruit and vegetables.

Indeed, traditional Icelandic food is so strong with ammonia that visitors are told to only eat some of their delicacies in small bites because otherwise the ammonia will trigger the gag reflex.

The traditional way of eating shark is to mix it with vodka to kill the horrendous taste. Something of a problem in a country that prohibited all alcohol in the 1910s and only allowed wine and then spirits in the 20s and 30s and beer in 1989.

Stein tried another one of their ammonia laced delicacies on the show and said it was the worst food he had ever eaten but he did not gag.

Stuart Wade

Rick Stein embarks on a series of culinary long weekends in search of food excellence and brilliant recipes, heading to markets, restaurants, wineries, cafes and bars. He begins his second adventure by visiting Reykjavik for a winter break.

Chef Rick Stein’s brand new series is a wonderful gastronomical journey through some of the less obvious destinations for a weekend foodie break. Rick began his series in Bordeaux, which is often referred to as “The sleeping beauty of France”. For week two, Rick visits Reykjavík, the capital and largest city of Iceland.

Rick’s arrival in freezing cold Reykjavik sees him lacking a warm coat and surrounded by landscape that is described as a mix between Fargo and Twin Peaks. A “toasty” hotel awaits which is situated near to the harbour with superb views over Reykjavik.

On his first evening, Rick meets up with his friend Ameer for a beer. Ameer explains to Rick why…

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