Iceland has some of the darkest Nordic winters ever with just 4 hours of daylight and and harsh conditions, but that doesn’t deter this country from producing some of the best sheep in the world. Icelandic sheep are cultural ambassadors of this country. They represent everything that Iceland stands for…right from its history rife with the Vikings’s exploits to building of the first farms and establishments. Sheep farming seems almost like a form of worship for Icelanders and is practiced throughout Iceland. Icelandic sheep are not cross breeds and live and grow in one of the most pristine countries in the world, which means that it is sparsely populated, unpolluted, rife with natural beauty and greenery, which means plenty of stomping grounds for our sheep friends!! Sheep farming is a celebration and is exalted by the ever so popular sheep sorting ceremony that takes place in Iceland…it’s serious business and is done today in almost the same way it was done when the Vikings walked the earth. Thousands of sheep farmers Sheep farmers get onto their magic motorbikes, ride off into the mountains and call upon their trusty dogs as side kicks to participate in the rounding up of sheep after which a sea of countless fleece covered bodies make their way towards the sorting site or the “Réttir”. They are then earmarked to identify the families that own them, sorted and reunited.
What better way to celebrate Icelandic lamb and begin our culinary journey into Scandinavia than to make a signature lamb stew called the Kjötsúpa. It is a tribute to the bounty of vegetables ranging from carrots and rutabaga, and of course the lamb of Iceland…a simple yet hearty stew meant to help with braving the elements. Kjötsúpa allows the lamb to shine through and bears testimony to the transacendent quality of the “Icelandic lamb” experience.Add herbs like thyme,oregano and bay leaves to enhance the flavor profile of the broth and eat it warm. On that note…keep watching our blog for updates on our rather romantic tryst with Scandinavian cuisine and more…till then Verði þér að góðu (bon apetit!!)