In the 18th century the first crop of Icelandic potatoes were harvested at Bessastaðir, where the Icelandic President has his residency. But it was not until the early 20th century that potatoes became part of every day fare. Drangar was an extremely poor part of Iceland, located on the west coast of Iceland and residents had very little food. They included potatoes in their bread-baking and generations have used the same ingredients; kneading it, rolling it out by hand, and baking it on a hot pan.
Plokkfiskur is a traditional Icelandic dish, and translates to “Mashed Fish”. The dish served here is made with fresh white fish, and varies according to the catch of the day.
Lava bread is made of rye because it is particularly easy to grow, and survives harsher climate in poor soil. It is traditionally baked underground in Iceland using Geothermal energy. It takes up to 12 hours to cook, and is doughy, moist and sweet. But not everyone has easy access to geothermal energy. My mother used to bake it in the oven on a low heat overnight.
Flatbrauð is made from rye-flour and hot water. The bread is kneaded and flattened into a round form by a cake roller or by hand, picked and baked on a hot stove or in ashes. Now it is a popular feature on the coffee table. Our flatbrauð is served with hangikjöt, smoked lamb cut into thin slices.