Recreating this Icelandic dish is relatively simple. Blend basil, olive oil, salt, and pine nuts into a puree to season the fish. Mash cauliflower florets with potatoes for a unique side dish.
We Are Never Full
My guidebook assured me that three out of five Icelanders believe that faeries, mischievous sprites and trolls are real. Many, it continues, actively take precautions against them, refusing to set foot in the spots they are thought to inhabit. My first introduction to the country, the drive from the airport into Reykjavik, past a giant aluminum smelting factory set in a jet black lava field against gun-metal clouds, felt more like Bladerunner than the redoubt of spirits.
The homogeneity of the Icelandic population is such that, I, a tall, fair-haired white man, was always addressed in English. This was possibly for the best since Icelandic sounds like an even more inscrutable version of the Elvish tongues lisped so cloyingly in the Lord of the Rings. Happily, though, for students of this, the original Norse, there are no regional accents, slang or dialects of Icelandic to contend with. That there are less than 250,000 native speakers helps keep the number of foreign students limited to either the truly committed or the mildly eccentric.
However, spending my week there with an Icelandic family meant that my exposure to the language was greater than the average tourist, and so it was that by its end, I could both write and pronounce “Hej, hvað segir Þu?” (Hi, how are you?) and “Fint, takk fyrir!” (Fine, thanks very much!”) well enough that everyone still responded in English.