Here are some of our favourites:
In 1985, married couple Eymundur Magnússon and Eygló Björk Ólafsdóttir started organic farming at Vallanes in East Iceland – a region noted for its rich and fertile soil. They focus on growing grains (especially barley) and vegetables, and on producing specialty foods from their crops.
Barley is virtually the only type of grain known to have been grown in Iceland from its settlement in the 9th century. For hundreds of years, however, it was largely forgotten but it has recently started to make its way into the country’s contemporary cuisine.
Under the brand name Móðir Jörð, the company produces organic, pickled and lacto-fermented vegetables, jams, chutneys, crispbreads, breakfast cereals and pearl barley.
Rabarbía (rhubarb) brittle was developed by farmer and teacher Kjartan Halldór Agústsson – together with his former partner Dorothee Lubecki and baker and confectioner Orvar Birgisson – as the result of a brainstorming session with students from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts in 2008.
Produced on the farm in South Iceland where Kjartan grew up, and where rhubarb has been grown commercially since 1932, it is made from organic freeze-dried rhubarb, sugar, cream and butter and is unique in Iceland – perhaps even the world. In addition to different types of rhubarb brittle, the company also produces jams and jellies.
Between the sea and the mountains, at the innermost part of the Hvalfjördur fjord in West Iceland, lies Bjarteyjarsandur, which has been home to Guðmundur Sigurjósson’s family since 1887.
With his wife, Arnheiðhur, Guðmundur keeps 600 sheep, chickens, horses and rabbits and the farm is one of very few in Iceland to contain free-range pigs. It also has a small greenhouse and vegetable garden.
The farm, which operates on principles of sustainability, animal welfare and environmental protection, produces award-winning, double-smoked mutton, soaked in homemade wild blueberry syrup, and old-fashioned Icelandic smoked mutton sausages.