The Best Icelandic Snacks for a Campervan Road Trip
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Any good road trip includes a whole lot of great snacks – and in Iceland, it’s no different. The country is seemingly made for campervan road trips, with jaw-dropping vistas around every bend in the road.
Since your mouth is already agape at all that beautiful scenery, why not throw some classic Icelandic road trip snacks in there? Trust us when we say it’s going to make your campervan trip in Iceland a whole lot better. Live like a local and check out our list of the best Icelandic snacks for your campervan road trip.
1. Icelandic Candy
Icelandic people love candy – seriously. In the bigger supermarkets, there’s always an entire aisle dedicated to the various types of candy, with kids and adults alike filling up bags with their favourite. Since there were trade restrictions in Iceland on foreign candies, Iceland went ahead and made its own. You’ll find a wide range of things you’ve never heard of, most of which remain far more popular than your regular candy back home.
For stocking up on candy, all supermarkets have a great range to choose from. Liquorice (lakris in Icelandic) is especially popular, and you’ll find plenty of chocolate with liquorice inside.
Another popular way to enjoy candy is to get a big bag of pick and mix, throwing together all your favourites for your camper trip. If this sounds like it’s up your alley, we recommend heading straight to Hagkaup in Reykjavik, which has the large aisles so you can stock up.
If you have a campervan with a small fridge inside, or have rented a cooling box, then buying some skyr for your camper road trip around Iceland is strongly recommended.
Skyr is the special type of Icelandic yoghurt and has been around in the country for centuries. It’s thicker than regular yoghurt, and the skyr sold in supermarkets today has added flavours like strawberry, banana and apple, and wild berries.
This also doubles as an easy breakfast meal while out on the road in your camper. If you’re looking for more recipe ideas, check out our list of the best recipes for a camper trip in Iceland.
Another popular Icelandic road trip snack for your camper trip is Kókómjólk – call us crazy, but we can’t leave Reykjavik without a six-pack or two in the back of our campervan. This is a chocolate milk that all Icelanders enjoy, thanks a lot in part to the fond memories they have of the drink while growing up.
The best part about these chocolate milks is the fact that you don’t necessarily need to keep them chilled while on your road trip. It’s also a great way to recharge after a dip in one of the many natural hot springs around the country, and equally as a breakfast treat.
Icelandic bakeries are wonderful places, filled with delicious treats that are sure to tempt you when you stop by. Kleinur are a popular choice for an Icelandic road trip snack, almost like twisted donuts with a slightly crispy exterior giving way to the soft and doughy insides.
It’s the perfect snack to enjoy while you cruise along the ring road, enjoying the scenery passing by. Supermarkets also sell bags of kleinur in their baked good section, so you can stock up even when the bakery is closed.
Fun fact: you’re also called the kleinur if you’re sitting in the middle of the back seat of a car.
5. Iceland’s Gas Station Hot Dogs
There’s nothing quite like stopping at an Icelandic gas station, ducking inside for a hot dog, wolfing it down, and hitting the road again. Icelandic hot dogs are a mixture of beef, lamb, and pork, and today are well-known around the world for being some of the best things to eat in Iceland. Cheap and delicious, it’s a great Icelandic snack to stave off those hunger pangs until you stop for lunch or dinner.
For something more substantial at a gas station, the hamburgers are always fantastic as well. This is another essential part of road trips for locals: a quick and easy meal to enjoy before striking out again along the ring road.
A campervan road trip snack for those who want to feel like a hardcore Icelander. Harðfiskur is dried fish – if you’ve ever seen large wooden racks behind towns around the country with lots of fish hanging up and drying in the wind, that’s where harðfiskur comes from. This snack is kind of the equivalent of jerky in the U.S.
You can pick up harðfiskur in all the supermarkets, and even in some of the larger gas stations around the country. The best way to eat harðfiskur is to also buy some Icelandic butter (Smjör), rip off pieces of the fish, and smear it in the tub of butter before eating. Make sure to roll the windows down in your campervan though as things can quickly start smelling of fish.
7. Rís Buff Bites
For those who are fans of chewy marshmallows covered in chocolate, you’re going to want to pick up a few boxes of Rís Buff Bites before hitting the road. There’s a gooey marshmallow in the centre, covered in crunchy rice crisps and then coated in delicious milk chocolate – a delectable Icelandic snack that you’ll probably want to take home with you and share with family and friends (or more likely keep all to yourself).
You can find these at the supermarkets in town, and they’re a great snack to have in the front seat with you as you drive along in your campervan gawking at the scenery.
8. Stjörnu Osta Popp
Another favourite Icelandic snack is this cheese-flavoured popcorn, a delicious treat to munch on either while you’re driving or have settled in for the evening and are waiting for dinner to be ready. Icelanders love popcorn, probably because they love going to the movies so much, making this a popular snack in the country for any kind of event.
You can find the popcorn stashed near the potato chips in all supermarkets. A fantastic and easy food idea for a campervan trip in Iceland.
We already mentioned Icelandic liquorice above, but it’s so darn good it deserves a second mention. Icelanders are obsessed with the stuff, thanks to it being the only candy available for hundreds of years because of restrictions on foreign candy imports and before Iceland invented its own candy bars.
It’s very sweet, so a lot of Icelandic liquorice uses salt to temper it, or coat in chocolate. Liquorice is so beloved in Iceland that you can even have an ice cream dipped in liquid liquorice!
10. Prince Polo
One of the most popular candy bars in Iceland is the Polish brand, Prince Polo. During the 50s when there were heavy import restrictions, Iceland struck a trade deal with Poland. The Prince Polo candy bar was one of the imports, and it quickly became the most popular candy bar in Iceland at the time and retained its popularity even when competition grew after trade restrictions were lightened in the 70’s.
This is a classic piece of Icelandic history, and another essential snack for your Icelandic campervan road trip. You’ll find it for sale inside all the major grocery stores as well as gas stations.
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