We’ve started a new year of our wonderful series “Around the World in 12 Dishes.” Every month our group chooses a new country, and we learn a bit about the culture and make a typical dish. This month, let’s learn about ICELAND!
Iceland is an island nation of Europe, located just south of the Arctic Circle where the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans meet. The capital is Reykjavík and Icelandic is the language spoken. The first people on the island were Celtic monks, followed by Norse settlers and Swedish Vikings. The closest body of land is Greenland (also an island) but the closest continent is Europe. Because Iceland is part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the island includes parts of both continental plates that are very slowly spreading apart. This means lots of volcanic activity, mountains, and lava fields, as seen in this awesome video:
As you could see, fjords line the coastline of Iceland; a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created glaciers and erosion.
Here is a great photo introduction for kids to learn about Iceland from Mama Smiles Exploring Geography series (which I LOVE!!!!).
Also, Cool Kidz Cool Trips has a wonderful post on how a trip to Iceland showed her the magic of nature.
As we learn about Iceland, we decided to make their most typical soup/ stew: Kjötsúpa. The main ingredients are: lamb, onion, cabbage, carrots, rice, rutabaga, potatoes, and leeks. I think this is the first time my kids had rutabaga, and we talked about how it was a root vegetable well-suited for northern, colder climates.
We followed the recipe for Kjötsúpa from Icelandic Cooking, and even my kids liked the soup!
For dessert, we bought some skyr– a very popular. smooth and creamy yogurt cheese from Iceland. It’s strawberry season here and the kids loved the skyr with strawberries and a bit of honey.
This is the 1st month in the new season of “Around the World in 12 Dishes.” This year we have chosen the following countries:
March – Iceland
April – Portugal
May – Croatia
June – Hungary
July – Ukraine
August – Saudi Arabia
September – Vietnam
October – Mongolia
November – Cuba
December – Bolivia
January – Senegal
February – South Africa