Iceland is the closest European country to America, and it’s about to get even closer.
“A Taste of Iceland” brings the country’s cuisine, music and film to Bostonians this weekend. The Hub is one of Iceland’s most important destinations for seaport trade and higher education, according to Hlynur Gudjonsson, the Ice-landic consul for several states in the Northeast and the trade commissioner for North America.
“There’s something interesting when these people meet,” says Gudjonsson of the two cultures getting together.
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Friday, Icelandic guest chef Hakon Mar Orvarsson (shown above) starts off the third annual “Taste” with a special menu of Nordic cuisine curated with executive chef Matthew Audette of Eastern Standard. The menu features a variety of seafood native to Iceland, a free-range lamb fillet as well as Skyrkaka, which is an Icelandic mousse made from cultured dairy product.
“A lot of the ingredients that [Orvarsson] is using are Icelandic products,” Gudjons-son says. “Much of what he’s doing is traditional, but he’s making it into a new cuisine — a new kind of culinary art.”
Gudjonsson stresses that the event, sponsored by Iceland Naturally, is not just an Iceland-centric event. While Bostonians get “A Taste of Iceland,” the visitors from that country definitely get a taste of Massachusetts.
“We try to merge this with Boston — we’re getting both your local chef and musicians involved in creating something, colliding cultures,” he says.
‘A Taste’ for your other senses
Complementing the Icelandic cuisine on Saturday night is “Reykjavik Calling,” a free show at The Paradise presented by WERS, which features collaborations between four Icelandic artists and four Hub-area acts.
“We’re bringing four of our top musicians,” says Gudjons-son. He’s not exaggerating.
Mugison, the headliner, has not only sold 30,000 copies of his music in his home market, but earlier this week he cleaned up at the Iceland Music Awards. This included wins for Record of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. Visit us online this weekend for our interview with him.
And on Sunday afternoon, Icelandic films play at the Kendall Square Cinema.