Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reindeer - it's what's for dinner.

Yes, it is true.  For those who know me, I am not a meat eater.  I will only eat fish and bird (chicken/turkey), mainly to give me enough iron for my triathlon training.  When in reindeer country and when the locals talk about how wonderful the meat it, my curiosity got the best of me and I indulged in a meal of it last night.  I didn't just pick any 'ole restaurant that had it deep fried or in a sandwich, I found a restaurant that specializes in it.  It was very tender and prepared wonderfully.  Imagine a choice cut of lean and juicy steak and you will be able to get a sense of what it is like.  Reindeer is a red meat and the waiter said it came from the upper thigh on the animal.  Hunters have a season for it in September and it is said to be about the size of a caribou.  There is a certain sized gun that is necessary to shoot these animals and a hunter will sell the meat to the local restaurants.  The reindeer is only found in the eastern fjords of the island and they tend to stay to the high ground during the summer and migrate down towards the seacoast in the winter. 

Reindeer - the other Icelandic Red Meat

And a good chocolate cake with ice cream is a fine way to finish off the dinner.

Another thing to note is that almost every Icelander is able to speak Icelandic and English.  They learn it early on in school and it is not uncommon for high school & college educated Icelanders to speak a third language like German or Swedish.  I am very fortunate that they have this fluency, since I would be lost in this country without being able to converse and have explained to me the directions or other advice/details.  A lot of the Icelanders that I have come across are a little shy to speak English to me, but once I tell them it is much better than my Icelandic they relax and are more willing to converse with me.   

Asta from the Egilsstadir information desk in front of her reindeer picture.
She loves these animals both in the fjords and on the dinner plate.

Off along the East Fjords today and into the south of Iceland where the glacier is dominant.  Leaving the fire and into the ice...

1 comment:

  1. You ate reindeer?!?! I can't wait to hear about your trip in person... we need to get together with you and Sarah and kids once you are settled in!