Seafood from Iceland at Strasbourg Christmas Market
Iceland is currently in the limelight in France as the honorary guest at the Strasbourg Christmas Market, the oldest and most famous Christmas market in the world. The market is being held for the 447th time this year and more than two million people are expected to make their way there this December.
The market opened on November 24th and will remain open until Christmas. For the occasion, the widely-travelled Little Red Kitchen—which has been used to introduce food from Iceland at various fairs—was moved from Barcelona to Place Gutenberg in the old town centre of Strasbourg. Eleven Icelandic companies will participate in the market and sell products from Iceland.
To make the most of the attention, seafood and other food products from Iceland were presented in Strasbourg. Journalists were invited to taste delicious dishes made by master chef Viktor Örn Andrésson from Icelandic gourmet ingredients. Listeners of radio station Top Music Radio could participate in a quiz before the opening of the Christmas Market and five winners received a lunch invitation to the Little Red Kitchen. Guests could pick up a brochure with cod recipes – France is one of the largest market for cod from Iceland and therefore special emphasis was placed on presenting cod products to the public and media.
A special cultural program was also organised for the occasion, including a concert in the Strasbourg Cathedral during the opening weekend where Icelandic musicians Svavar Knútur and Sigríður Ósk Kristjánsdóttir performed Icelandic music to an appreciative audience of 700 people. Visitors to Place Gutenborg can also attempt to sing along to the most difficult karaoke song in the world, performed by comedian Steindi Jr. every Saturday until Christmas.
Visitors to the Strasbourg Christmas Market have taken significant interest in Iceland, Icelandic food and culture, and quite a few members of the media have made their way to the Icelandic Christmas village in Strasbourg. This has resulted in extensive coverage about Iceland in various media outlets; television, radio and online media.
Iceland’s honorary guest appearance at the Strasbourg Christmas Market was organised by Promote Iceland and the Icelandic Embassy in France, while the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture helped organise cultural events in the area.
The companies from Iceland that are participating in the Christmas market are Ice-Co, a supplier of seafood from Iceland; Lýsi, producer of fish liver oil; Reykjavík Distillery; Bæjarins bestu sausages; Heilsukokkur, specialising in healthy food; Hekla Ísland designer products; Handprjónasambandið – The Handknitting Association of Iceland; IceWear outdoor clothing label, Iceland Tresasures, Skinboss Icelandic Skin Care and Urð, a producer of scented products. Shipping company Samskip has taken care of all cargo transport to France in connection with the project.