föstudagur, nóvember 18, 2005

fish soup

Iceland has a lot of excellent food, and among the many things Icelandic cooks do really well are seafood and soups. Put them together, and you've got fish soup. I decided to take a break from the company cafeteria (where the company chef's food is often brilliant, but I've never been a big chicken man) today and walk across the parking lot to the nearby Fiskbúðin, or The Fish Store. I was the only one there when I arrived, but scarcity of customers is no indicator of shoddy product in Iceland. (This took some getting used to here, as in the States a crowded parking lot or a line out the door are the usual hallmarks of quality.)

The store was clean and spare in the manner of Icelandic stores, with products neatly arranged on one wire-rack shelf in the middle of the shop, and a glass counter holding all manner of fresh fish at the back. The owner came out from his little hideaway and we exchanged ritualized greetings and I ordered the soup (it's all they have) for 600 krónur.

I ate the soup staring out the window at the parking lot of our little wacky Kópavogur office park, and flipping through today's Blaðið newspaper. As I ate, more customers came in to take soup with them. The soup was excellent: creamy, hearty, and full of big chunks of fish. The fresh bread was excellent, too, spread with delectable Icelandic butter. Life can be mighty good in the Land.

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