Icelandic Food: What to know before you go

“What exactly do they eat in Iceland?” is the first question I’m usually asked about my two week visit to the Nordic island country. Well, the answer isn’t for the faint of heart. The local diet hasn’t changed much since the Vikings settled the island sometime in the second half of the 9th century. The preparation of the food is, of course, much tastier than it would have been 1,200 years ago. It’s since had the benefit of other Scandinavian and European influences. The mainstays of the locals include lamb, potatoes, skyr, and lots and lots of seafood. For a country surrounding by Arctic waters, fishing is naturally the single most important sector of the economy. Fisheries employ up to 20 percent of the workforce. Many of the restaurants serve seafood caught same day. Haddock, herring, skate, salmon, lobster. Seafood is everywhere. And that’s the good news. As for the rest of the classic Icelandic dishes, well,…

Pineapple on pizza? Canadian man credited with inventing Hawaiian dies at 83

The Canadian man who is widely credited with inventing Hawaiian pizza, setting of the world-wide debate over whether the fruit has the right to top a pie, died last week at the age of 83. Sam Panopoulos was born in Greece and emigrated to Canada in 1954 at the age of 20. He told BBC that he made the first “Hawaiian” pizza in 1962 at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, as a fun experiment. “We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste,” Panopoulos told the BBC. “We were young in the business and we were doing a lot of experiments.” Panopoulos said he and his brothers liked the sweet and savory contrast between the ham and the pineapple, and that they named it “Hawaiian” after the brand of canned pineapple they used. Pineapple on pizza became a trending debate earlier this year when the…