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Icelandic Online Dictionary and Readings

Carry On Icelandic: Culture [selections] (2004)

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═slenska sau­kindin - Icelandic Sheep

═slenska sau­kindin

Ůrßtt fyrir ÷rar breytingar ß atvinnuhßttum ═slendinga skipar sau­kindin enn mikilvŠgan sess ß ═slandi. H˙n var­ samskipa landnßmsm÷nnunum til ═slands fyrir meira en 1100 ßrum og hefur oft mßtt ■ola misjafna daga Ý landi ˇblÝ­rar nßtt˙ru. En einst÷k nŠgjusemi hennar og hŠfileikar til a­ komast af vi­ ■r÷ngan kost ßtti eftir a­ halda lÝfinu Ý mannfˇlkinu ß erfi­leikatÝmum.

١tt ■jˇ­in byggi n˙ ekki lengur afkomu sÝna ß landb˙na­i og sau­fjßrrŠkt skipta afur­ir sau­kindarinnar enn miklu mßli fyrir hana. ═slenska ullin er gŠdd einst÷kum eiginleikum sem gera hana ■jßla og tog■olna og veita flÝkur ˙r Ýslenskri ull sÚrstaklega gott skjˇl gegn bŠ­i kulda og bleytu.

Color photograph

Hr˙tar (Rams).

Ullin var frß fornu fari notu­ til klŠ­na­ar en einnig var unni­ ˙r henni va­mßl sem var helsta ˙tflutningsvara ═slendinga ßsamt ull og gŠrum allt ■ar til skrei­in tˇk vi­ ß 14. og 15. ÷ld. N˙ eru Ýslenskar ullarv÷rur me­al ■ess sem erlendir fer­amenn sŠkjast hva­ mest eftir a­ kaupa er ■eir sŠkja landi­ heim.

En kj÷ti­ af sau­kindinni er lÝka mikilvŠgt. Ůa­ var uppista­an Ý kosti ═slendinga um aldir, řmist ferskt, reykt (hangikj÷t), salta­ e­a s˙rsa­ og allir hlutar skepnunnar voru nřttir. Enn Ý dag ■ykja rÚttir eins og lifrarpylsa, blˇ­m÷r, svi­ahausar og s˙rsa­ir hr˙tspungar hi­ mesta lostŠti og eru me­al helstu rÚtta ß ■orrablˇtum landsmanna.

Um langt ßrabil hefur ofnsteikt lambalŠri me­ br˙nu­um kart÷flum, grŠnum baunum og rau­kßli veri­ sunnudagsmatur ß bor­um ═slendinga og er sannkalla­ur ■jˇ­arrÚttur ■eirra.

Icelandic Sheep

Despite rapid changes in Icelandic work patterns, the Icelandic sheep still has an important place in Iceland. The sheep accompanied the early Icelandic settlers more than 1100 years ago and has had to endure variable days spent in inhospitable country. But its particular cost-effectiveness and its ability to survive even when there is little food, has meant that it has often kept people alive during difficult times.

Although the nation no longer builds its profits from agriculture and sheep herding, sheep products remain an important part of the economy. Icelandic wool is endowed with special qualities, which make it manageable and strong, and clothes which are made out of Icelandic wool are particularly good cover against both cold and wet conditions.

Icelandic wool has long been used for making clothes, but it was also once used to make a type of homespun cloth called "va­mßl" which, together with wool and sheep skin, was the largest Icelandic export until stockfish took over in the fourteenth- and fifteenth-centuries. Icelandic wool products are now amongst those items which overseas visitors seek out when they visit.

Sheep meat is also important. It was the main feature of the Icelandic diet over the centuries, eaten either fresh, smoked (called hung meat, that is "hangikj÷t"), salted or pickled in sour whey: the entire animal was used. Today, traditional foods such as liver sausage, blood pudding, sheep's head, and soured ram's scrotum are still considered delicacies and are amongst the most favoured dishes at the Icelanders' annual traditional feast called the "Ůorrablˇt".

For many years, Sunday dinner in Iceland has meant a roast leg of lamb with caramel potatoes and green peas, rightly called Icelanders' national dish.

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