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Why does my horse despise my apple? And other yummie stuff on a riding tour

Aktualisiert: 9. Feb. 2020

By Katrin, Gerda and Rakel

I want to lose some weight on this trip!

We heard this sentence sooo many times, we stopped counting. And I feel absolutely not sorry to disappoint you, but I have to tell: Probably you will fail. Too much too delicious food in this house. Until now, nobody managed to reach this goal but nobody was upset by it. So the simple advice for everybody wanted to lose some weight: Do it before or after the tour, and enjoy every meal Ólöf is preparing for you.

Why does my horse despise my apple (the ungrateful little bugger!)?

Sharing your nutritious, juicy apple with your horse on a well-deserved break is a great idea. However, many riders have noticed something odd when trying this on a riding tour in Iceland: Icelandic horses have absolutely no idea what to do with a piece of fruit – and consequently will just stare and snort at you in disgust. In a country where fruit and vegetables do not naturally grow and horses live off grass, roots and whatever they can find in the wilderness, they are very suspicious about anything as exotic as an apple. They get all the energy and nutrition they need from whatever nature has to offer, so despising your apple is not a sign of being spoilt, but of pure happiness. You should try it yourself: inhale the Icelandic fresh air, sunshine, rain and wind (okay, you can leave out the grass and have an apple instead…), and you will be overflown with an instant feeling of happiness. Promise!

Sheep on my plate – how to survive in Iceland being a vegetarian

Driving around Iceland you see millions of sheep. They look very nice and are a popular target for photos – I have more than just one picture of a mother sheep with two cute lambs at her side or a fierce looking ram. But the sheep are not only there for “decoration”, they are also a major ingredient of the Icelandic cuisine.

Most of you now think “great”, but for different reasons. The first GREAT is really great, as some people really love lamb and sheep on their plate. The next “great” is because you don’t like the taste of it and worry that there is no other meat. And the “oh great” is because – like me – you don’t eat meat at all.

Be happy if you are in the first group, because you will have the chance to eat organic sheep. But if you are among the second and third group there is no reason to worry. Fish lovers will also be very happy in this country. Travelling around Iceland I always found something I liked. In Reykjavik there is a wide choice of restaurants. When travelling the island outside tourist places, many guesthouses have a kitchen where you can prepare your own food if you can’t find a restaurant you like or you don’t feel like eating pizza at the N1 petrol station.

At Kalfalaekur, Ólöf knows that after a great day of riding the guests come back hungry and and look forward to delicious food. Usually there is coffee and something sweet in the late afternoon and soon afterwards dinner is ready. On the buffet you can find a different menu every day: sometimes meat, often home-bred sheep, sometimes fish. And there is always an option without meat for the vegetarians or meals for other dietary requests.

So I can’t even say “I don’t like the sheep on my plate” - there is never any sheep on my plate as I always have something else I like and I can leave the sheep to people who are really appreciating a lovely piece of organic meat.

Please don’t forget to inform Kalfalaekur about special dietary needs when booking. Then it will be included in the menu plan and the weekly shopping tour to the next supermarket which is about half an hour away.

Why is there always jam on the table?

Because we like it! It goes with meat, fish or whatever you like it to eat with.

Once in our lives we learned about, when to eat what. For example: First you finish your meal and afterwards cake for dessert. But seriously, who decided, cake is not a meal and I can’t just skip the meat and go for sweets instead? So when you are with us on tour, forget about the nutrition rules and eat whatever you like! There is no right or wrong and we definitely won’t check.

If you like to try the delicious homemade jam out of rhubarb from the backyard, do it. It doesn’t have to be the “original” way with meat, put it on your bred, take it for the potatoes or pimp your porridge. It’s yummie anyway.

Ólöf must have magic potency to serve all those cakes everyday, doesn’t she?

The flavor of Ólöfs cakes and cookies is always like magic. The way she is baking them, isn’t. It’s planning and a lot of work (and good smell all around the house). She is not baking every day a cake she is serving one (so almost every day). Some cakes and cookies are well suitable for waiting a little bit in the freezer until they see daylight again. Others have to be made right before served. The ones you can store, she is doing from time to time for a whole day. This is quite interesting to watch. Ólöf in the kitchen, often singing and doing several things at a time. All kitchen aides in charge. It’s like working in accord but only with one person. She knows every movement and never lose the overview of all the different steps of work for the different things she is baking. If you ever meet her on a day like this, sneak in and you will get some cake mixture to nibble.

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