Friday, September 21, 2007

icelandish food

When my sister writes to me about picking berries or apples or peaches in an orchard each weekend in upstate New York, I get a bit jealous. Living in the Bay Area, I have few complaints, but I do miss the New England/upstate NY orchard scene. How glad was I then, to receive the cutest jar of purple raspberry jam in my bridesmaid's favor bag for her wedding this past week.

Liam and I had disagreed about bringing back apple jelly from his family at Christmas (we just had carry-ons), but now that we were travelling 2 bags a piece, I was all about putting the jam in my check-on. Little did I know, this purple raspberry jam from Hurd Orchards would save us in Reykjavik.
We arrived in Iceland freezing and exhausted and stunned at every corner at the prices, despite the fact we'd researched and budgeted as such. To spare the day-to-day details of prices and whining and impulsive-decision-making, I will say that it was the bread we bought at a local bakery with the organic Icelandic peanut butter (above with jam) and gift from my sister that made our forays into the intense and icy and volcanic world of Iceland that much more warm. We slathered both on the pre-sliced bread with a knife we borrowed from our hostel, I mean hotel (bright and clean and nice staff and our room is pictured on the website), and found ourselves savoring both jam and pb -not in an ex-pat 'i cannot find peanut butter anywhere' way (it was our 2nd day out of the US), but in a completely yummy way.

Iceland is intense and amazing and with the food so expensive, this was a good choice. We saw curry for $30 a plate, an upscale restaurant serving a bagel with cheese for $15, and teas were never less than $5/each. Our best meal was 'cheap' vegetarian food at $25/person for a plate with falafel, green salad, rice, and tomato sauce - good place - a Naestu Grosum (reviews linked). Most of the food on our plate was quite good.
In an infuriating sidenote - we were turned down at Einer Bar. When the waiter said, in front of an absolutely empty living room, 'we are fully booked' and I replied, 'fully booked?' he affirmed and walked away. We then found ourselves back at a Naestu Grosum. Alas, we were thrilled to be en route to Paris (they did have fantastic tea in the Reykjavik airport though ... I do have to end on that note).

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