Fish for lunch - fueling the younger generations
Across Iceland, children receive a warm meal for lunch. This starts in daycare and continues throughout primary and secondary school. Naturally, the main component of that meal is often wild and healthy seafood, responsibly sourced in the rich fishing grounds that surround the island.
During our visit to the Westman Islands, we followed Chef Einsi Kaldi, who operates the local catering company providing daily lunch to the children in the village, including local kindergartens and primary schools. It is safe to say that the children were excited about lunch on that specific day. An Icelandic classic called “Plokkfiskur” was on the menu. Nicknamed “plokkari”, the dish is a delicious blend of fish and potatoes with baked cheese on top. It might not be the most elegant looking of all dishes, but it’s tasty and children really love it. Chef Einsi was greeted with cheers and high-fives everywhere we brought the plokkfiskur.
Regarding how to appeal to children’s taste buds with a healthy “plokkari”, chef Einsi explains: “It has taken me quite some time to find the perfect recipe, we have experimented a lot. The children are really sensitive to spices but it’s still important that it has a lot of flavour. This forces us to use the highest quality cod from the area – that I source myself almost every single day.”
Providing healthy and nutritional meals to children of all ages has proven to enhance their academic results as well as their overall physical activeness and wellbeing. After lunch, we followed some of the children to the football field, where it is safe to say that the fish gave them quite a kick of energy. It is no coincidence that so many of Iceland’s leading athletes come from this small community, The Westman Islands.