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Compared to more intimidating Icelandic specialties, for example sour rams’ testicles or fermented shark, the three-meat Icelandic hot dog, named pylsur, is a more appetizing national dish, and it’s also said to be absolutely delicious.
This hotdog features a variety of meats (lamb, pork, and beef), two kinds of onions (crispy-fried and raw) and a selection of condiments, including ketchup sweetened with apples and special sauce known as remolaði. The latter sauce is the Icelandic version to France’s remoulade, a mayonnaise-based condiment made with pickles, vinegar, and onions.
The subtle variety of meats is the secret to the pylsur’s particular flavor. Beef provides the fat, pork the texture, and lamb a subtle other flavor, in fact Icelandic lambs have a very nice life, in which they roam freely around the island, feasting on berries and vegetation, which makes their meat delicious. Icelanders also cook their hot-dogs in a mixture of water and beer. The country’s most famous supplier, Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, is a contender for the title of world’s greatest hot dog stand!
No one’s sure how the hot dog came to Iceland, but now it’s an institution. Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur has served hot dogs in the old Reykjavík harbor since 1937, recommended also by lot travel companies, and a majority of Icelanders live close enough to be regular consumers. Bill Clinton sampled the stand’s offerings, ordering a pylsur with just mustard, as the former United States president had his in 2004.
It’s possible ordering “one with everything” (“ein með öllu”). Pyslurs are sold throughout Reykjavík, and it’s possible buy them also at the Reykjavík airport duty-free shop.