Due to the islands proximity to the sea, fish, together with lamb and dairy are important elements of the Icelandic diet. Tastes are often determined by the preservation methods, such as pickling in fermented, whey or brine, smoking and drying. Barley is grown for human consumption, together with hardy root vegetables and potatoes. The first professional bakers on Iceland were Danish, which is reflected in baking traditions on the island.
Among popular varieties are dark rye bread, the soft skonsur breads and Westfjord Wheatcakes. A traditional Christmas food is the thin “leafbread”, which is fried in oil and garnished with a knife-cut pattern.
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