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Things You Can Buy Only in Iceland: Everything You Need to Know

Things You Can Buy Only in Iceland: Everything You Need to Know

Subject: Find out about the finest artworks, fabric materials, lava rocks, wool yarn, licorice, sea salt, Brennivin,omnom chocolate, Arctic tea, etc. from Iceland.

Iceland is home to some of the finest artworks, fabric materials, and other products. What makes shopping here even more special is the range of items unique to the country. You can scour the world looking for the same products elsewhere, but you have a very slim chance of finding them. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some items only available for purchase in Iceland.

  • Lopapeysa

‘Lopa’ is the Icelandic term for wool, while peysa refers to sweaters. This type of woollen sweater is native to Iceland and originated during the early 20th century. A yoke design is common in most Lopapeysas. 

The yoke design refers to a decorative circle around the sweater’s neck opening. The yarn for these sweaters are derived from Icelandic sheep and are known as Lopi. Lopi is a special yarn that is not spun and thereby provides greater insulation when compared to normal wool.

  • Original artwork

Iceland’s original artwork is built upon the northern European foundations of the nineteenth century but developed a unique style during the twentieth century. Today, Iceland’s art showcases the Icelandic culture and mythology to a greater extent than ever before.

Artist Þórarinn Benedikt Þorláksson has influenced contemporary Icelandic artwork to a great extent. Most of his works primarily depict the beautiful landscape of the country. It is common to find a naturalistic, yet the romantic depiction of Icelandic landscapes in Þorláksson’s works.

  • Lava Rocks

Iceland formed around 25 million years ago due to volcanic eruptions. The telltale signs of the volcano are still present to this day in the form of special lava rocks. The country is home to any interesting and lesser-known types of rocks, minerals, stones, and crystals. 

The lava rocks are often the most eye-catching souvenirs for travellers to Iceland. However, if you want to take such a rock back home, make sure you buy one from a souvenir shop.

  • Wool Yarn

Icelandic wool yarn is in great demand because it is great for knitting. Derived from Icelandic sheep, the wool yarn is known as Lopi. One of its properties is the increased insulation it offers. Even if the yarn breaks while spinning, the two loose ends can be easily reattached by twisting.

While the special wool yarn is great for sweaters and other winter clothing, it is a poor choice of fabric when worn close to the skin. The wool yarn can feel scratchy on your skin.

  • Icelandic licorice

Whenever you find yourself at a grocer’s shop in Iceland, you may notice shelves full of black licorice. This black licorice is a combination of the regular licorice recipe and chocolate, making them some of the tastiest candies on the planet.

At the heart of the country’s love for licorice lies two main factors - geographical and political. Firstly, licorice offers a caloric boost during the extreme cold. Moreover, the black licorice was invented at a time when the country had severe restrictions against candy imports.

  • Brennivin

Brennivin refers to Iceland’s special, unsweetened and clear schnapps. It is considered the country’s signature distilled drink. Mainly restricted in the form of celebratory drinks, Brennivin is ingested in great quantities during Þorrablót or mid-winter feast. 

The beverage comprises of either potato mash or fermented grain. To enhance the flavour, Caraway seeds are used in the creation of the drink. People often describe Brennivin’s taste as similar to vodka. The use of spice as a flavouring agent makes the beverage aquavit.

  • Icelandic sea salt

Seal salt in Iceland is produced by using age-old methods. Water from the Arctic Sea is transferred into open salt pans. As these pans are heated, the water evaporates, leaving behind the flaky sea salt. The speciality here is that heat from the hot water springs are used in the process, instead of man-made heat.

This geothermal procedure was devised in 1753. Since then, almost all of Icelandic sea salt producers have used this method effectively to derive the brilliant salt.

  • Omnom chocolate

If you crave chocolate, Iceland’s Omnom chocolate will surely satiate your desire for melt-in-the-mouth happiness. Produced from a premium selection of organic beans, Omnom chocolate is arguably the country’s best chocolate maker. 

Visitors can tour the Omnom factory in Reykjavik, getting to know more about the chocolate-making process. Since its launch in 2013, the brand has found great favour amongst chocolate connoisseurs. Today it serves some truly delicious bean to bar varieties of chocolate. Make sure you buy some on your trip as it is only available in Iceland. 

  • Bloðberg (Arctic Thyme) Tea        

Made from Arctic thyme Bloðberg, is a special tea variety native to Iceland. It is made from Arctic thyme flowers, which have a propensity to grow on gravelly and sandy soils. The flowers are purple and produce a strong fragrance in the tea.

Arctic thyme tea is in great demand due to its range of health benefits. Drinking this tea can strengthen your head and heart. Additionally, people suffering from insomnia may be able to get a good night’s sleep after ingesting this special Icelandic tea. 

  • Decorative items

Icelanders are proud of their cultural heritage and landscapes. This pride reflects in the decorative pieces they design for home styling. From paintings or pictures of the Aurora Borealis to the minimalistic photographs of the landscape, Iceland’s decorative items hold sway over many people.

Thankfully, those interested in decorative products can purchase their chosen items from a souvenir shop. Whether it is art or specially designed Iceland candles, these products will help you remember your trip to Iceland fondly. 

Iceland is an excellent place for first-time tourists. It offers some of the best sights and items for sale. These unique products serve a purpose. Purchase as many as you can to experience the true diversity on offer in this impressive nation.                     

Author: (Abhi Chauhan)
Date: 01/12/2019


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