Gordon heads to Iceland for a “summer” island exploration in season 3 of Unchartered
Chef Gordon Ramsay journeys to a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean for a unique Icelandic “summer of fun” exploration in episode six of Unchartered season 3. Gordon basks in all that Iceland has to offer as he learns about traditional volcanic cooking techniques and Icelandic customs.
Home to more sheep than locals and Europe’s largest glacier (the Vatna Glacier), Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Known for its strikingly beautiful yet rugged shorelines, glacial topped mountain ranges and abundant spread of hot geysers that provide year-round heat, Iceland is the only place in the world where you can swim between two tectonic plates, live among 130 volcanoes (30 estimated to still be active) and enjoy the rich unique cuisine all in one stunningly beautiful country!
Quirky Icelandic customs
Despite the cold, a multiltude of outdoor pools and hot springs exist around the country. All the pools are heated with geothermal energy – come sunshine, rain or snow, a swim is always in order! Icelandic pools are regarded quite highly by locals. They are seen as an ideal location for family or social gatherings or even dates.
The Icelandic lingo for asking for a refill is quite specific and unique. Instead of asking for a refill, you simply ask for “10 more drops”. So, the next time you’re in Iceland and need a top up on your morning cuppa, you know what to say!
A feast to your eyes, a banquet to your taste buds
While most popular dishes typically involve fish, lamb or Icelandic yoghurt (skyr), it’s ice cream that the locals go mad for! They even make rúgbrauðsís or rye bread ice cream. The ice cream obsession is real, so when in Iceland, an Icelandic ice cream is a must!
Icelandic cuisine is well known for hákarl (fermented shark), hverabrauð (a dark rye bread with a sweet flavour buried in a pot near a hot spring where the geothermal heat is used to bake the bread), hangikjöt (smoked lamb) and, most importantly, pylsa – or a hot dog to you and me. A fully loaded hot dog topped with crunchy deep-fried onions, raw onions, ketchup, sweet mustard and creamy remoulade sauce always tops the list of must-try foods in Iceland.
Gordon must work to earn his keep. Not only does he fish for wild salmon in a glacial river, learn how to cook using the Icelandic volcanic landscape and sample fermented shark, but he is also joined by Michelin-rated chef Ragnar Eiríksson. In true Icelandic fashion, the duo cook up a magnificent feast with the most amazing produce right in the middle of an Icelandic rainstorm.
Will the tranquil and raw sheer beauty of scenic Iceland win Gordon over, or will the fermented shark get the better of him? Stay tuned to find out. Catch Gordon Ramsay’s adventures on Wednesdays at 9pm on National Geographic, DStv channel 181.