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Tag: Iceland

Coffee and Kleinur

Kleinur, the long twisted diamond shaped donuts of Iceland, are among my favorite treats that I look forward to on my visits there. More dense than the typical donuts that you’d find here in the U.S., I like to think of them as a more sophisticated version so that I feel less remorse after eating a handful of them.

With the holidays here, my girlfriend and I have taken on making these ourselves for friends and family. Here’s the most commonly shared recipe that I could find online that we’ve used with success:

3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup milk or buttermilk
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. nutmeg
4 1/2 cups of flour, with extra for rolling dough out on surface

Beat eggs slightly and add sugar and beat some more. Gradually add the sour cream mixed with baking soda and milk alternately with the dry ingredients. This will take about 4 1/2 cups of flour. Mix it and pour out onto the floured board and divide into three portions and roll each out to approx. 1/4 inch thick and cut into 1 inch wide strips and then into about 2 1/2 inch long pieces. Put a slit in the center of each and fold one end through the slit. Fry in oil at about 375 degrees. Keep turning them till they are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Allow them to dry on paper towels.

Serve with coffee. Somewhat related, here’s a believable recipe for an Icelandic Christmas Fruit Cake that calls for 1 bottle of whiskey.


Back at home, the annual Þorrablót held by the Icelandic Club of Greater Seattle serves as a great introduction to traditional Icelandic foods. Newcomers should start with the delicious smoked lamb (Hangikjöt) and flat breads, or for the more adventurous, the sheep’s head (Svið) – from there, one can then work up to fermented shark (Hákarl) chased with shots of Black Death (Brennivín).

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Iceland’s Landscapes

A few more photos taken during my travels this last year, salvaged with Lightroom.

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Herd in Iceland

Released last Christmas, the Kickstarter funded documentary Herd in Iceland focuses on the country’s regional annual roundups where horses are gathered from the highlands after being let free to roam during the warmer months. It clocks in around 30 minutes, and I recommend getting the HD download from Vimeo over the DVD option.

The folks involved with the production have received some positive press over the past few years for their photography, which has been featured in both the Big Picture and Lens as well as a number of other print publications.

Iceland, 1934

News of unearthed photos by Dutch photographer Willem van de Poll taken on his visit to Iceland in 1934 have spread fast on Icelandic sites over the past month when lemurinn.is was able to post a large collection of them back in October. The set shows an interesting snapshot of life around the country, as well as Icelandic horses, Glima wrestlers, and natural landmarks that are still popular with photographers today.

Somewhat related is this tourism video from a decade earlier, showing a few similar scenes.

Reykjavik Notes

A few snapshots taken around town:

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Icelandic Knitwear

Ubiquitous around Iceland, the lopapeysa has become an icon for the country’s wool industry over the past several decades. They are traditionally hand knit with lopi, a coarse but hardy wool from Icelandic sheep, and are quite cozy and warm when worn.

Recently, some groups within Iceland have been pushing to have the sweaters legally protected against companies who produce them overseas and then sell them as being authentic to tourists (a familiar problem that can be found around the world) – Grapevine.is, which has been following the topic over the past year also has a useful guide on how to shop for one.

On a recent trip I picked up an affordable sweater from the Icelandic company Farmers Market, which came in handy during the cold weather and strong winds that came through while I was there earlier in the month. I have no idea where it was made, but I like it well enough.

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