The East’s specialties are, among others, reindeer, langoustine (lobster) and wild mushrooms. Hérað is the site of great innovation in organic farming. Of course, you can find sheep there but also fresh fish and the highest quality dairy.
Fish, Sheep & Reindeers
Eastern Iceland encompasses diverse landscapes but the sloping fjords put their mark on the region. Sheep farming has always been a key factor, along with fishing in dedicated fishing towns. The closeness to the main langoustine grounds has earned Höfn í Hornafirði the nickname: The Langoustine Capital of Iceland.
Sheep are not the only herbivores in the region, as reindeer also roam the mountains and fjords. The reindeer are the most desirable wild game in Iceland, yet they are the descendants of tamed Norwegian reindeer. The idea of importing reindeer to Iceland was likely first put forward by Páll Vídalín at the end of the 17th century. No reindeer were introduced at the time but the idea lived on. Approximately one hundred years later the first reindeer were brought to Iceland under a royal decree intended to strengthen Icelandic agriculture.
Organic barley for human consumption is grown in Hérað as well as rapeseed oil which are available in most grocery shops. “Bulsur” are Icelandic vegetable sausages made by young organic farmers near Djúpavogur. They are made of barley, beans, meal and seeds, without any additives.
Hallormsstaðaskógur is the country’s largest forest. During the waning days of summer, the forest floor is covered by an assortment of edible mushrooms. Restaurant and mushroom enthusiast have certainly taken advantage of this.
Many fantastic restaurants can be found in Iceland’s East, some of them even off the beaten track. You can find all kinds of restaurants that offer traditional foods or exotic seafood restaurants at the bottom of the fjords. For example, in Seyðisfjörður you can dine at a sushi restaurant listed by White Guide Nordic.
For more information about culinary experiences see Visit East Iceland