Who needs a portable stove if you can cook something in using natural heat?
My family and I traveled to a lot of places this summer, but it certainly didn’t feel like summer in Iceland. Though the sun never set, we had the time of our lives snowmobiling on a glacier, exploring ice caves, ziplining, jumping into cold rivers, bathing in warm hot springs, and more. Each day was packed with lots of different activities, so we thought that the food aspect of our vacation would be less noticeable. Yet, our amazing guide Ulfi, managed to present us with some of the most memorable food experiences of the entire summer. Not going to lie, we did some pretty sick things with food such as eating fish that we caught, or doing a blind “taste test”, but nothing beat one of the coolest ways of making dinner. I present to you: cooking hotdogs underground.
Iceland is a pretty unique country. It’s located on top of two tectonic plate boundaries, which means that there are a lot of really amazing land features. A common sight that you can find all over the place there is the hot spring. Heated from underground, these pits of boiling water (or mud, occasionally), are marked by their signature trail of steam, shooting into the air. And steam is exactly how we cooked our food in Iceland! Ulfi basically knew every secret location in his town of 2000 people. He showed us private caves, beautiful bathing areas, and even small holes in the ground fit for steaming food. We’d made boiled eggs in a hole venting hot steam the day before, but the I mean, the hot dogs were on a whole new level.
After a tiring day of exploring the Golden Circle and hiking, we relaxed at one of Ulfi’s many private hot spring bathing spots. It was then that he revealed what he’d brought for dinner! I watched him dig a hole next to a stream of searing steam and drop the delicious hot dogs inside. “That’s got to be one of the coolest ways to make food I’ve ever seen!” I exclaimed silently. Thirty minutes later he re-opened the hole and voila, dinner was finished, cooked by the mere heat in the steam. Complete with crunchy onions, the usual garnishes (ketchup/mustard), and tomato soup, the meal exceeded our expectations by a mile! Following the dinner, I now saw that the Icelandic Hot Springs were not only a stunning sight, but also an actual cooking machine. While hot dogs aren’t ranked too high on my list of “best travel foods”, it’s always real neat to experience something totally different. Hey, when you’re hungry and your food just got cooked in the most unique way ever, who care’s if it’s just a hot dog?