Food is essential to life, therefore make it good.
-S. Truett Cathay
I saw this quote recently in a Chick-fil-A (don’t judge me!), and as I thoroughly enjoyed my chicken sandwich I started to think what constitutes good food to me. When I am on a road trip Chick-fil-A is a guilty pleasure, but when I am abroad I try to eat with a little more diversity. Don’t get me wrong, I am not the Hungry Traveler, so don’t need to be semi-grossed out by my food to have a real eating experience. I prefer to truly find what the locals love and love it too. It was in this way that I came to discover:
The Lobster Soup at the Saegrieffin in Reykjavik, Iceland
This soup is so good that my guru, Andrew Zimmern, abandoned his normal bizarre eats to try the lobster soup at the Saegrieffin (that’s the Sea Baron for all of you that don’t speak Icelandic). Now that’s impressive! This was no ordinary bisque, quite the contrary it was actually…well soupy. Which doesn’t mean it didn’t have body and texture, there were real chunks of lobster in every bite. I usually can give a good guess as to the ingredient list in a given meal, but the flavors were so well balanced. It was savory with a hint of the sweetness of the lobster. There was the subtle flavor of curry mellowed by what I imagine to be heavy cream and then finished with a blend of herbs that were earthy but not overpowering. It is served with crusty French-style bread and butter. Perfection! The Saegriffin is a little hole in the wall (the best places always are) that could maybe seat 20 people comfortably rubbing elbows.
I loved this soup so much I had it nearly everyday in Iceland. I could have taken the owner back to the States with me in my pocket and had him cook it for me on a daily basis. So, of course I tried to make it at home. It didn’t even come close. I used langoustines (thank you Trader Joes), which are purported to be more like Icelandic lobsters and scoured the internet for a recipe that sounded like it was a close approximation to what I experienced. It fell flat, so I ended up dumping the whole pot. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great…
Here is the recipe if you can’t make it to Reykjavik and want to give it a try. If it taste amazing by all means let me know and invite me for dinner.
What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten?