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South Iceland´s Culinary treasures is a food-related project that Visit South Iceland carried out in collaboration with Matarauður Íslands.

The South Coast area is rich with diverse ingredients, whether from sea or land. This project does not only support tourism but also agriculture and the fishing industry. A holistic picture has been drawn of the diversity of food resources that the region has to offer by highlighting the South Coast’s food traditions and mapping the food production of the South. By mapping this, it is possible to work more purposefully and intensively in product development and innovation in food production as well as branding of the area. 

Food traditions:
The geographical location of the country largely shapes Iceland's food production. The South Coast has a temperate humid sea climate and there is a great difference in daylight depending on the seasons. Soil fertility varies by region, for example, due to weather, distance from the sea, and access to the lowlands, making each area unique in both diet and food production. History also plays a large role in this.

For example, bread has been baked in the hot spring areas in the county, Árnessýsla, angelica, and lyme grass have been used in the county, Skaftafellssýsla and fulmar hunting near the Eyjafjöll mountains and the county Mýrdalur.

Many people associate certain foods with specific places, for example, lobster and Höfn or puffins and the Westman Islands. Nowadays, attempts are made to further promote such traditions through food festivals. In this way, it is possible to strengthen certain traditions and highlight the food production that is in each place and its importance. It can be difficult to determine certain food traditions and ingredients in each region in terms of food tourism because there is often more variation within regions than between them. But it is possible to combine many elements to create uniqueness, for example, connect stories of shipwrecks and the influence of foreign fishermen (cognac-covered reindeer liver and barley biscuit) and sell glacier potatoes, lobster oil, and smoked eel in Hornafjörður bay.

The changes in food production and consumption:
In the last century, Icelandic food production and consumption has changed a lot, many traditional dishes are no longer made and new ones have been made instead. Supply has become completely different and more diverse; transport and food preservation are better and changes in residence make it difficult to link many traditions to one specific area. If any of these traditions are to be revived, it is necessary to look carefully at consumption patterns and how consumers' tastes have changed. Therefore, new traditions may need to be adapted and created.

Culinary Treasures of the Golden Circle area
The food in the Golden Circle Area In the Golden Circle area, agriculture is practiced extensively as there is a great tradition for milk production, vegetable growing where geothermal energy is used, and meat production, sea-fishing from Þorlákshöfn town as well as fishing in rivers and lakes. Árborg, Flóinn and ÖlfusThe sea and agricultureÞorlákshöfn town possesses an excellent natural harbor and it is close to rich fishing grounds. In the period when rowing boats were used it was common for 30-40 boats to be fishing from Þorlákshöfn and many newcomers stayed there during the fishing season. To this day, the harbor in Þorlákshöfn is the most important link in the town's business activities. There are also restaurants and retail businesses that both tourists and locals enjoy. Beets are grown in Hraun in Ölfus and there is also dulse picking. In addition to dulse picking in Ölfus, dulse has been used in the municipality of Flóinn for centuries, as many people were employed in dulse picking. People came as far from the east of the county Skaftafellssýsla to buy dulse. Eyrarbakki town was an important trading place for the whole of the South as well as a fishing station. For a time, Eyrarbakki was the largest town in the country, larger than Reykjavík city, and for a long time, it looked like Eyrarbakki would become the capital of Iceland. Employment has now developed into the service sector and industry. At the beginning of the last century, extensive fish processing and fishing began, and three fish processing companies operated there until the turn of the century. The harbor at Eyrarbakki was closed in 1988 and since then the importance of the fishing industry for the residents’ livelihoods has diminished. The same goes for the town of Stokkseyri. There fishing began just before the turn of the 19th century with a loading dock and a proper pier. Motorboats were the main means of livelihood of the village. After the bridge Óseyrarbrú was built, the harbors in Stokkseyri as well as in Eyrarbakki have been little used. The freezing plant of Stokkseyri, later known as the Cultural Centre Menningarverstöðin, was closed and the building is now used for art and culture and makes a big impression on the town's appearance. In and around the river Ölfusá, eel fishing was practiced. The South of Iceland is well suited for fishing eel and it can be caught in traps. However, eel fishing has been prohibited since the summer of 2019. In the last century, many things have changed in the district Sandvíkurhreppur, especially farming methods. Sheep farming intensified towards the end of the 19th century. Around the year 1890, sheep were sold to England but stopped after six years. After that, the farming years were difficult until farmers established a creamery. The abattoir Sláturfélag Suðurlands was founded in 1907 and most farmers became founders. After the creameries closed, people began to make the most of selling lambs for slaughter. After the dairy Mjólkurbú Flóamanna was founded in 1929, farmers started selling cow's milk there. Horticulture was only for the home, but beetroot cultivation was done on few farms. As in most places, traditional agriculture has been declining, but the remaining farms are expanding. Most are cow farms, sheep farms are in decline, one is a chicken farm, one pig farm, and one farmer focuses on eider nesting and salmon fishing. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were many cream and butter farms in Iceland. The creamery at the farm Baugsstaðir was a cooperative and an important part of the surrounding farmers' economy. Its prime was from the beginning of the century until 1920 and it closed in 1952. Butter and cheese were made from cream that farmers brought on horses and most of the production was sold abroad and to Reykjavík. In the town of Selfoss, there is a strong product processing of southern agriculture and its service. There you can for example find the largest dairy farm in the country and the abattoir, Sláturfélag Suðurlands with deboning and packing stations. The great innovation and product development in the processing of agricultural products in Selfoss can without a doubt be attributed to decades of experience, knowledge, and professionalism in the area. Between the two salmon rivers, Hvítá and Þjórsá lies the municipality Flóinn. In the last century, one of the most important things for Flóinn was the making of the canals Flóaáveitan for irrigation. It covered over 12,000 hectares of land and heralded a major shift in farming and employment in the area. Agriculture is still the main industry in the region with growing tourism opportunities. Hveragerði Greenhouse farming Around 1929, the village Hveragerði began to form after a co-operation for the dairy Mjólkurbú Ölfusinga was established. At the same time, green farming began, and various attempts were made to utilize heat that is a characteristic of the town. Having a geothermal area in the center of the town is unique nationwide. Examples of the utilization of geothermal energy include a seaweed flour factory where seaweed flour was produced. The first students graduated from the state’s Horticultural School in Reykir in 1941. Many horticultural centers were built in the following years and Reykjavík residents began to get used to visiting Hveragerði to buy horticultural products. In 1946, the bakery Hverabakarí began its operations, now called Almar Bakari bakery. To this day, steam is used for baking in Hveragerði. In the past, hot springs were stigmatized as accident traps for people and animals. Foreign gardeners, however, saw potential in using the hot water, and from 1900 and onwards, individuals and hobby groups began to make various cultivation experiments. The establishment of the state’s Horticultural School accelerated the development of horticulture in Iceland, where important activities are underway, as our future is based, among other things, on utilizing the resources that the country has to offer. The state’s Horticultural School, which is now part of the Agricultural University of Iceland, is still operated in Reykir in Hveragerði. It is open to the public on the first day of summer of every year and there you can see exotic tropical plants, such as cocoa and banana plants. The banana crop is about a ton a year, it cannot be sold and therefore employees and students benefit from it. The skyr making factory, Skyrgerðin in Hveragerði, was built in 1930 and was the first of its kind in Iceland. The unique Icelandic dairy product Skyr was the main product, but also the first yogurt in Iceland was produced there, called healthy milk. Today, skyr is still produced there the old-fashioned way and it is used in cooking, baking, and for mixed drinks at the restaurant Skyrgerðin. In addition to vegetable production and flower production, one of the largest ice cream producers in the country is in Hveragerði, the family company Kjörís, which started operations in 1969. Upcountry ÁrnessýslaGeothermal energy, agriculture, and organic farmingThere is a lot of geothermal energy in the upcountry of South Iceland, and it is a prerequisite for development in the area. In the 1940s, the awakening about horticulture in Iceland began and the development of horticultural centers. Horticulture is the largest in the South or about 67% in terms of operating income. Pumice from the volcano Hekla is also widely used, along with geothermal and environmentally friendly production where no toxins are used, and bees fertilize plants. Daily fresh products are sent out to consumers. In earlier years, hot springs were used for cooking and coffee making. You can still see the areas where the hot springs were used for cooking and baking, and special utensils were used for this purpose. Early on, people began to use the hot water to heat houses, for greenhouses, and for bathing, a great bathing/swimming pool culture is in the area. The village Flúðir was formed due to the geothermal energy in the area. There you can find the oldest swimming pool in Iceland and before that the area was a bathing place for centuries. A school in Flúðir was established where it was possible to use a hot spring to cook for school children. Iceland's largest mushroom farm is in Flúðir. The farm Flúðasveppir grows organic mushrooms from Icelandic ingredients. There are many horticultural stations in Flúðir, family businesses that engage in both horticulture and outdoor cultivation of vegetables. The settlements Laugarvatn, Laugarás, and Reykholt were also formed due to the geothermal heat. It was decided that the district school would be located at Laugarvatn due to the geothermal heat there, and from there the village developed into an educational center for all school levels. Bread is baked in hot springs down by the lake Laugarvatn. Fishing is also possible in nearby rivers and lakes. In Reykholt, hot springs were harnessed, and settlements were built around them, from 1945 and onwards horticultural stations began to be built there. Construction also began in Laugarás around 1946 due to geothermal energy. At Laugarvatn you can fish in the rivers and lakes nearby and there is also geothermal energy. You can for example bake bread in the hot springs. Organic farming in Iceland began at the village Sólheimar in Grímsnes and it is still one of the largest producers of organic vegetables in greenhouses in Iceland. Skaftholt also has a sustainable organic farm, where people with developmental disabilities live. There is a cow farm, a chicken farm, and a sheep farm. As well as a variety of vegetable cultivation and processed products e.g., cheese making and vegetable processing. In the lake Þingvallavatn, you can find trout and four species of char. The lake is popular for fishing and many frequently fish there. The site Skálholt offers a medieval food experience: Spicy wine, vegetables, goose soup, blackbird, etc. Since people did not use spoons in the Middle Ages, the soup is drunk from bowls and servants dress in medieval clothing. Rangárþing ytra and ÁsahreppurFishing in rivers and lakes, horse meat and potatoesThe district Ásahreppur has diverse nature and moorland with ridges and hills with clustered farms in between. Agriculture, trade, and services are the main industries in the area and the largest breeding ground for graylag geese in Iceland is by the lake Frakkavatn. Fishing lakes by Landmannaafréttir are a popular place for angling. Thousands of anglers go there every year as the lakes are rich with char and trout. Hella is a young town that was built around agricultural and commercial services. Hella stands by one of the best salmon fishing rivers in the country, Ytri Rangá. There are several food processing plants in Hella: Reykjagarður / Holtakjúklingur produces toppings, sausages, cooked products, hot dishes, frozen and fresh chicken. Fiskás is a fish store and processing plant in Hella. Founded in 2010 and works mainly with salmon products, as it is between two large salmon rivers, Ytri- and Eystri-Rangá. Fiskás services fishermen and buys fresh fish at fish markets for its fish store. Villt og alið is a meat processing company that debones and packs meat from cattle, horses, lambs, and reindeer. It also sells products from the area, for example, pork from the pig farm Korngrís in Laxárdalur Hella slaughterhouse Around the former farm, Gunnarsholt there used to be a sandblast. After a great struggle with the sand, Gunnarsholt was deserted in 1925. The state’s sandblast organization Sandgræðslan bought the farm a year later and immediately started fencing and trying to stop sandstorms. In the 1940s, gravel plain and sand had been revegetated and the area is now the center of reclamation at Gunnarsholt. Now there are large and flat fields with windbreak belts, and it is possible to rent land for grain cultivation. At Gunnarsholt there is the first beef cattle farm in Iceland. Þykkvibær Þykkvibær is the oldest rural village in Iceland and it has great food and cultural history. The village Þykkvabær was established because from there the ocean could easily be reached from the mouth of the river Rangá and the good benefits of the area made it popular for people to live there. The residents of Þykkvabær were known for eating horse meat, which was considered scandalous and unchristian, but the neighboring farmers brought their animals to slaughter in Þykkvabær and the locals go to keep the meat. There was often so much meat left that there was not enough salt to store it so there was a foul smell in the cottages, but people ate the meat if they could. It was always difficult to go to sea from Þykkvabær, but the last time it was attempted it was by a rowboat in 1955. The residents of Þykkvabær used Lyme grass and made thick porridge from it which they called dough (i. deig). It substituted bread, was plated and buttered. It was considered delicious, filling, and healthy. Þykkvibær is now best known for its potato cultivation. It started in 1934 and later took over other farming. Farmers created homemade tools for planting. A barrel was taken, and wooden poles placed with regular intervals on it, and then it was rolled around the field like a wheelbarrow. The potato cultivation is the main cultural heritage of the people of Þykkvabær. The sandy soil and flat land are suitable for potato cultivation. Night frost is also less likely due to higher air temperatures along the coastline. Besides, it is conveniently close to the capital area and thereby the main market. Þykkvabær potato factory was established in 1981 and was a way to utilize potatoes that would otherwise have been discarded due to overproduction. Distribution and sales take place in Garðabær municipality in the Capital Region, but the factory still operates in Þykkvabær and is now owned by the food manufacturer Sómi ehf. In Þykkvabær, crackling is produced from dried horsemeat. Álfur brewery is located in Kópavogur municipality in the Capital Region but it brews beer from Icelandic potato peelings and barley. About half of the raw material is peel from the potato factory in Þykkvabær. Since 2005, the residence of Þykkvabær has held a potato ball called Kartöfluball, which came about after the traditional Icelandic winter celebration Þorrablót had to be canceled due to lack of participation.
Culinary Treasures of Katla Geopark and Vestmannaeyjar
The food in Katla Geopark and Westman IslandsIn the area of Katla Geopark and Westman Islands, there is a tradition for agriculture of various kinds, for example, grain cultivation, growing root vegetables, and fishing. The main characteristics of the area are birds and collecting eggs. Rangárþing eystra Hvolsvöllur is the main urban area of Rangárþing eystri and was built as a center for agricultural services in the second half of the last century. There are now about 1000 people living there and the main industries are services to agriculture, trade, and tourism. The abattoir Sláturfélag Suðurlands also has one of the largest meat processing plants in the country stationed there. It moved from Reykjavík in 1991. Smáratún farm in Fljótshlíð is one of the founding members of Beint frá býli or from farm to table. Various products are processed there, e.g., jam from various berries and rhubarb, bread and Icelandic flatbread, sheep liver pâté, eggs, lamb, potatoes, rutabaga, and beef. Smáratún also runs a hotel and a restaurant that has the Nordic Ecolabel and is launching a "zero waste" program. Vísi Gísli, who lived in Fljótshlíð in the 17th century, was the first Icelander to study science at university. He was a pioneer in horticulture in that century, and from him comes cumin, which now grows wild in Fljótshlíð. In Fljótshlíð, cumin was added to coffee, pancakes, and rhubarb jam on special occasions. Rutabagas were also grown there as it has good and sandy soil below the road. Under the mountains Eyjafjöll, fulmar hunting has been practiced for years. The hunting that is practiced today is more to maintain old rituals than to make money. In the old days, people used to climb down the cliffs, nowadays people walk or drive and knock out the bird that is sitting below the cliffs. Corn cultivation has been practiced in Iceland since the settlement age and most of the cornfields are in South Iceland. The Eyjafjöll mountains are considered one of the best areas for corn cultivation as well as the lowlands of the county Rangárvallasýsla. Barley, wheat, and rapeseed have been grown in Þorvaldseyri farm in recent years, and the rapeseed has been used for both human consumption and biodiesel. Cabbage gardens were popular centuries ago and for a long time, only rutabagas were grown. They were considered particularly good for the masses. Rutabaga seeds were obtained from abroad. Vestmannaeyjar – Westman Islands The Westman Islands and the surrounding sea cliffs have considerable birdlife, one of the largest puffin settlements in the world is in the Westman Islands, rich fishing grounds, and several whales. The islands were formed by eruptions under sea level and the soil is shallow in many places and therefore not good for horticulture, in many places there is rocky soil and lava. Some rare plants grow there e.g., in the valley Herjólfsdalur. The food consumption in Westman Islands was better and more diverse than in other fishing villages due to the food source. The food varied according to the seasons and became unilateral during the fishing season and spring. General eating habits in the second half of the 19th century: First, coffee was drunk or Icelandic moss tea. Breakfast was at 10.00 and consisted of salted fish, trout, haddock, cusk (salted and processed), ling, pollock, or skate. Lunch was at 3 pm, salted bird or fresh during summer, milk porridge, boiled fish, sour inwards of sheep and sour whale. Hot or cold beans and barley porridge. A lot of dried fish was eaten with butter. Dinner was at 7 pm. Bird soup with salted puffins or fulmar, usually fulmar with chopped angelica leaves. Thin milk porridge and grounded barley was often on top. In the evening coffee was drunk again. Dulse was eaten and seagrass in bread. Mutton and salted fulmar and puffins were the main winter supplies. Fresh fulmar was boiled in pieces (salted/dried flat), the bird was boiled with all the entrails as that was considered the best. Smoked puffin and fulmar chicks were served on special occasions. Fulmar was not heavily smoked because then its fat could not be used. The head was also eaten. Gannets were also eaten, heads and wings scorched, and gannet blood pudding made from the liver with raisins and spices. Angelica and angelica roots were widely used, many had angelica gardens. Around 1850, potato cultivation began with blue-red potatoes from Scotland. The butter came from the mainland and was bought with stockfish. On Sundays, there was salted meat with potatoes or meat soups, beans, and meat. In the fall, fresh meat was cooked or fried. Only fishermen got a piece of bread with their morning coffee. In the late 19th century, fishermen began to take food along with them when they went out on the sea, thick slices of rye bread or rye cakes with meat or other toppings. Cakes and pastries were only served on holidays or during special occasions. Bread such as a special Icelandic pretzel, hardtack (hard bread that lasts long), with syrup was served with the coffee. Kútmagar - Stuffed fish stomachs with kneaded empty liver or flour. Roe, roe pouch and liver heads were a great favorite, especially new halibut heads and fattest parts from halibut. Fish swim bladders were cured, and cod heads were half-dried. Cod milt was used but was considered poor food. There was usually plenty of fish so anyone could eat as much as they liked. Many people considered half-dried or dried fish better than a fresh one. Cod was not eaten as it was the main export product. Seasons During fishing season, new fish was e.g., halibut. In the summer, all sorts of fish were caught such as cod, torsk, halibut, plaice. Side dishes were rutabagas and potatoes, but they began to grow after the middle of the century. Also, dough cakes are made from rye or wheat, and roe cakes are made from roe and flour. Dough cakes were also eaten with salted meat. Fusion of tallow and cod-liver-oil was used as butter. Eggs were available in early summer, they were placed in salt and dispensed between people for breakfast or lunch, 3-4 eggs per person. Omelets were also made. Parties: After the fulmar hunting, there was a feast for the hunters. Smoked baby fulmar, raisin porridge with syrup, meat soup with fresh meat, or mutton steak. Lots of coffee, with brennivin liquor and cognac. Julsaveisla party was similar after puffin hunting held by the fishermen who ferried hunters to the islands, and the hunters themselves held a puffin party with good food and wine. In summer rotten stingray and puffin were salted in barrels. Red sorrel was like a salad with fish and even sprinkled with brown sugar. Today, people from Westman Islands do not have to eat soured or smoked food, except to taste it for the old tradition. In the Westman Islands, there are numerous restaurants serving fish, meat, vegetables, and other delicacies. The restaurant Slippurinn has been in the Magna house since 2012. There, the previous activities of the house can be enjoyed. They work with small suppliers and producers, fishermen, and farmers in the local area. They also pick herbs and seaweed and cultivate what is difficult to get elsewhere. Local and seasonal cuisine where the menu changes every week depending on available ingredients. Old methods are combined with new and fresh ones and they want to make Icelandic everyday ingredients stand out. GOTT is a restaurant that emphasizes healthy food where everything is prepared from scratch and fresh and wholesome ingredients are used. Einsi Kaldi is a restaurant renowned for its delicious seafood and other local ingredients. MýrdalshreppurThe settlement in Vík was formed around a store that began in 1884 with fishing, discharging, and loading. Most of those who moved to Vík in the first years were local farmers from the area who kept part of their livestock, sheep were given pasture in Vík and most households had their own cows for milk production. The cows were herded to and from the village every morning and evening. The residents of Mýrdalur were dependent on their livestock, as most of the food production was done at home. Milk and dairy products were processed at home and mutton as well. Farmers went to the fishing stations in the autumn, to Reykjavík, or even to Snæfellsnes in the west. It was beneficial to live close by the sea and even vital. The residents of Mýrdalur started hunting fulmars around 1830, as there are a lot of them in the area. First, dip nets were used or an attempt made to shoot the fulmar. Attempts were also made by climbing the cliffs, which was dangerous, as people with primitive equipment used for it. Until the first decade of the last century, both winter fulmars and fulmar chicks were hunted. Descending of a cliff by rope was difficult and labor-intensive task. Blackbird eggs were often picked along the way. To this day, eggs are still being picked but fulmars are only caught at the end of the summer, for 1-2 weeks. Then the fulmar chicks are chased and knocked out. The fulmar is de-feathered, scorched, and salted in barrels. Puffin was caught with a dip net for many years, first, he was dug out from his holes but later a dip net was used. Until the 1940s, fishing was practiced in Mýrdalur. Rowing was from Dyrhólaey, Reynisfjörður, Pétursey and Maríuhlið by Jökulsá on Sólheimasandur. Fishing was important to provide for the household. There is no port in the area and landing conditions were difficult and so dangerous that fishing stopped. SkaftárhreppurThe district Skaftárhreppur is located on the south coast of Iceland between two areas of sand, Mýrdalssandur, and Skeiðarársandur. The only urban area is the village Kirkjubæjarklaustur. The farmers that owned land by the sea, benefitted from seals, trout fishing, and driftwood. After heavy waves, farmers often went to the beach to catch fish that the waves had thrown ashore. The fish had to be retrieved before the birds. Many landholdings in county Vestur-Skaftafellssýsla were large and therefore suitable for sheep farming. Farmers took part in the sale of sheep to Britain through the Stokkseyri Association. It was a long way for the residents to go to the store, one was in Eyrarbakki village and the other in Papós by Höfn. After trade began in Vík, the journey was considerably shortened and in 1908 goods were transported to Skaftárós. The Skaftártungu cheese: Milk is heated so it becomes warm, and then rennet is added to it. Stir over low heat after it starts to thicken. At first slowly but then quickly until the jellies became as small as crumbs. Then the pot was taken out of the fire and covered and let stand for 5 - 10 min. The cheese was kneaded and placed in a container for 24 hours. Taken and salted and placed in brine and then dried. Stored in a dry and cool place without draft. Daily turned and damped a dough cloth. The women from Skáftártunga felt that they did not get proper cheeses after they stopped using sheep's milk. Eel fishing was in Landbrot and Meðalland and is considered gentleman's food in many parts of the world. Strain traps were used for fishing, but it was mostly done around 1960. For a long time, it was possible to get eel from Sægreifinn in Reykjavík, as the owner was Kjartan who came from Meðalland. The eel was salted or smoked, and the skin was used for shoestrings. Icelanders did not like eel, so most of it was exported. Not as much eel is seen now as before and there has been little organized fishing around it. This may be due to the and swamp drainage. However, you can still see eels in Meðalland and Landbrot if you search carefully. Lyme grass was used in the district and most of it in Meðalland and Álftaver. The grain was used for baking bread, cakes, and for porridge. Lyme grass is nowadays used in land reclamation where there are sand drifts or wind erosion. It would be good to maintain the old traditional method of Skaftafell and use the lyme grass in developing methods to use it for food or crafts today. For lummur (small Icelandic pancakes) all kinds of grain and porridge leftovers were used and fried in a pan. The residents of Skaftafell made lummur from Lyme grass flour. Great skua eggs were picked and fulmar was hunted in Álftaver district. There is a lot of trout in the rivers in the area, Kúðafljót, Tungufljót, Eldvatn, and Grenlækur. At Klaustur there is a charr farm, Klaustursbleikja. In Seglbúðir the farm is a slaughterhouse and in Borgarfell farm a meat processing plant. There is a lack of information about their status and whether they are still running or not. At Sandhóll farm in Meðalland, various useful herbs have been cultivated recently, for example, oats, barley, and rapeseed. You can buy rapeseed oil, barley, oats, and beef from them. Grasa Þórunn was an herbalist and midwife, born in Skaftártunga and a midwife in Fljótshverfi. She was well acquainted with plants and what plants could be used for various medical purposes. Rutabaga was grown in Maríubakki farm, which was completely different from other Nordic beet stocks. Seeds were obtained from Kálfafell farm and the variant has never left the area. In the county Skaftafellssýsla, smoked sheep belly flesh pâté was prepared. The sheep belly was boiled with as little water as possible, and the scum was removed. One layer on top of another and salt in between. Then the scum was poured over at the end, then heavyweight placed on top of it and stored in a cool place. Sausages were not common in these areas.
Culinary Treasures of The Vatnajökull region
The food in Vatnajökull Region  The county Austur -Skaftafellssýsla has always been an agricultural district. It was a rather poor area in the early days but after 1980 the cultivation began to increase and especially on the sands. Although there were not many residences in the area before, agriculture was not enough to support the inhabitants.   There was fishing in the whole county and it was common that landing conditions were bad, but fishing grounds were good. The Travelogue of Eggert and Bjarni from 1752 states that plaice fishing was in lagoons within the estuaries in Lón and Hornafjörður and that cod was caught in Öræfi and Suðursveit.   There is not much information about beans in Iceland, but in the 18th century, a considerable amount of them was imported. In the 19th century and up to the 20th, bean dishes from whole beans are in some area’s traditional festive food, e.g., butter beans and yellow beans which were eaten in Southeast Iceland on the 23rd of December on Mass of St. Thorlac.    Cheesemaking in Austur-Skaftafellssýsla: Milk heated, and rennet added to it. The rennet was made from a calf stomach that had been aired and soaked in saltwater. Carefully stirred apart when it was started to harden and let it settle to the bottom. The whey was scooped off the top, the cheese placed in a large container and the whey is squeezed out of it. The cheese is then pressed overnight. Put in brine and stored for several months and made sure that no sun shines on it.    Hornafjörður Large outlet glaciers make their mark on this area and it is rare to find glaciers so close to settlements. Reindeer herds can be seen in the area, especially during winter and early spring, when they prefer to stay in the lowlands.   This is area is extraordinarily rich in water, both due to precipitation and melting from the glacier Vatnajökull. Making it pure, fresh, and sustainable. The town Höfn is known for its lobster, but you can also find locally grown vegetables, locally produced ice cream, and meat products. In the county, Austur Skaftafellssýsla dried dab and plaice are extremely popular. The place is dried, put on a stove, and baked on both sides. Next, it is rubbed between the hands and placed under cold water, and then plated. It was considered gentleman's food.   Öræfi  The area Öræfi is shaped by glacial erosion and water. Icefalls that come down from the glacier Öræfajökull and the glacial rivers were a major obstacle in previous years. Two eruptions have left their mark on the area, in 1363 and 1727. Before the first eruption, the area was called Litla Hérað, but the eruption was the largest pumice volcanic eruption in Iceland after the settlement of the country. In Skaftafell they are blessed with a pleasant climate as they are sheltered from the glacier Öræfajökull and there is a variety of vegetation, birch, Sorbus, and a lot of benthic vegetation.   Lots of glaciofluvial drift are in Öræfi after glacial outburst floods and they are still healing. The most important nesting site of the great skua of all the North Atlantic Ocean is located there. Skeiðará river was bridged in 1974 but was previously a major traffic barrier.  In Ingólfshöfði cape is a lot of birdlife, there you can find common murre, razorbill, fulmar, and puffin. Bird hunting and egg was collecting until 1930. Rowing was also done from Ingólfshöfði until the middle of the 18th century. You can still see ruins from fisherman’s huts there and some placenames tell their story, for example, the cave Skiphellir and Árabólstorfi. Landing conditions at Ingólfshöfði got deteriorated after the river flood Skeiðarárhlaup.   The cooperation Kaupfélag Skaftfellinga was founded in 1918 and began transporting goods on a 60-ton motorboat called Skaftfellingur from Reykjavík to Vík, to Skaftárós, Hvalsík and Ingólfshöfði. The residents of Öræfi had a division there and set up a warehouse at Salthöfði cove in the land of Fagurhólsmýri. Goods were stored there and sheep were also slaughtered there. The house was called Búðin (e. the store). The smell there was characterized by spices and fruits: Prunes and raisins. Fresh fruits such as apples and oranges were scarce. Pumice drifts that came from the eruption, salted meat was stored in barrels. The pumice drifts were very insulating, and the meat could be stored there until ships could transport it to the market next summer.   There is no milk production in Öræfi. While there was still a small dairy farm there, the idea arose to process cheeses within the area as the cost was too high for MS Iceland Dairies organization to go and fetch milk to Öræfi. It was not considered feasible to have fully equipped production, but one party could today start slowly and start its way forward. People pay high prices for uniqueness and quality and there is a large market in the area. Catering operations in Skaftafell: Fishing, all done from Hornafjörður. iO is a long way to get all the supplies, want to have fresh fish and make lobster soup from their broth that is prepared at Höfn (Glacier goodies). Skaftafell has produced and sold raw sausages and mutton muscle, Skaftafell’s delicatessen, but it is not possible to see online whether it is still running or not.   Seasons: Rye bread / cooked rye bread was boiled, and the flatbread was baked once a week. Blood pudding from the previous year was still eaten and good in August. The jam was made from heads and legs and liver sausage, but it did not last as long as the blood pudding. A gelding was slaughtered in July so there was no need to eat older salted meat. Trout was fished in June and at Ingólfshöfði there were birds which could be hunted from time to time all summer. There was not much fresh fish. The residents of Öræfi fished for cod in spring and summer from Ingólfshöfði according to The Travelogue of Eggert and Bjarni.   Suðursveit  The area is a 50 km long coastal strip between the Vatnajökull glacier and the Atlantic Ocean. Sheep farming provided income for the household. As there was not a lot of pasture in the area it was difficult to increase its population without sacrificing the slaughter weight. Few cows and small production. Butter and milk were for home use only. When the lambs were removed from the sheep in the autumn there was sometimes change in food and then raisin mash made, or coffee and pastries served.    The area took advantage of a variety of benefits such as fishing and whaling, egg picking, bird hunting, trout fishing in rivers and lakes, plaices fishing in estuaries, and fishing at sea. For as long as people can remember, sea rowing has been practiced in Suðursveit, as it is close to good fishing grounds. Many farms were small, so there was a shortage of food supplies in many homes if fishing failed. In the summer there was trout fishing and picking arctic tern eggs. In winter, ptarmigans were haunted if they came down to the lowlands. All the farmers had a share in a ship that was helpful when fishing was possible, it was also helpful when a whale stranded onshore and if herring washed up onshore. Before the turn of the 20th century, shark fishing was a major factor in fishing in the area. Women worked on the catch, gutting, and flattening the fish. Dried fish was eaten most days of the year as well as sharks during the time it was caught. It was considered very healthy food.