What Icelanders Eat for Breakfast


Never afraid to confront contemporary socio-economic issues head-on, I decided to investigate what Icelanders eat for breakfast. Like many other underhanded, dirty dealings, a web of deceit shrouds the Icelandic breakfast table in a bright, healthy façade.

Museli, toast, orange juice and even bananas are what many Icelanders eat; a fairly typical breakfast whichever country you’re in. Don’t let that fool you though – the whisper on the streets is a yearning for something more ‘medicinal’. Something that goes by the name of ‘Snúdur’.

Snúdur is a large, round, bread-like bun thing covered in icing. It’s bigger than your head and, here’s the exiting part; it is rumoured to have the same effect as asprin! I’m not going to lavish that much praise on it, but I was buzzing for the rest of the day.

The bread fills you up, the sugar perks you up, and the excessive chewing is like a workout.

Will I be eating snúdur every day? No, I don’t think so. Was it a worthwhile experience? Yes, very much so. It may have taken an hour to eat, and I may have no teeth left, but I was on a sugar high for the rest of the day!

Therein lies the answer to the eternal question: how do Icelanders stay sane in the winter? The answer is sugar, lots and lots of lovely, sweet sugar (alcohol seems to help too).

With the self-explanatory ‘bun day’, ‘bursting day’ and the ‘winter lights food festival’ all coming up in the near future, this is going to be a well-fed few weeks. Where else in the world would force you to eat cream buns because it is the day before Shrove Tuesday? And where else would Shrove Tuesday itself be called ‘Bursting Day’ due to the lavish feasting?!

AE [email protected]

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.