Licorice Like their cousins across the sea, Icelanders share the Scandinavian penchant for salty and sweet (think pickled herring). We found licorice used to flavor sea salt, chocolate, and ice cream (try Valdís, in the Fishpacking District, where they make their own frozen treats and waffle cones, too).
Moss Icelandic moss, or fjallagrös, is actually a lichen used in cosmetics and soups, and to make herbal tea to treat colds, bronchitis, or bladder problems. A grazing diet heavy in moss also accounts for the fine quality of Icelandic lamb.
Rhubarb One of few vegetables endemic in Iceland, rhubarb is used as a flavoring for sea salt and liqueur made by 64º Reykjavík Distillery. It’s also used in jams or served with a Sunday roast.
Blueberries Berry-picking season in Iceland is short — from mid-August to mid-September — but a canny Icelander like hotelier Gréta Sigurðardóttir will harvest enough to keep guests sated through the year. (Gréta’s recipe for a quick-set jam: Mix two pounds of blueberries with three ounces of water, cook for five minutes, then add three ounces of honey. A touch of lemon will cut the sweetness, and Gréta sometimes adds a small pudding of chia seeds — mixed with a little water — to thicken.)
Dried fish With 82% protein and lots of omega-3, Iceland’s version of Slim Jim (best with ample butter) makes for great workout food.