A country of contrasts, Iceland (or Ísland) is a remote island country with a population just over 300,000. Icelandic foods are a reflection of the country's isolation, as Icelanders have found ways to make seemingly unconventional foods conventional. From the free-roaming sheep to the bread baked by hot springs, Icelanders had created incredible food out of a unique landscape.

Having visited Iceland before, I can say with confidence that Icelandic cuisine is some of the best in the world. If you're planning a trip to this remote island, make sure to put these 11 Icelandic foods at the top of your bucket list. 

1. Kæstur hákarl

Kæstur hákarl (fermented shark) is an iconic Icelandic dish. It's normally a Greenland shark that has undergone a specific fermentation process and then hung for four to five months. The dish has strong ammonia flavor and obvious fishy taste. The Kæstur hákarl is not for the faint of heart, but if you're feeling adventurous this should be on your list. 

#Spoon Tip: Use Brennivín, Iceland's signature distilled beverage, to wash down the strong fishy taste.

2. Svið

Svið (sheep's head) is a traditional Icelandic dish, which is, yes, a sheep's head cut in half and boiled. Svið may seem odd at first, but the dish was created at a time when people couldn't afford to let any part of a slaughtered animal go to waste, so really it's a genius creation. 

#SpoonTip: If you find yourself in Reykjavík, almost every supermarket carries Svið in the freezer section.

3. Harðfiskur

Harðfiskur (Icelandic dried fish) has been the go-to traditional "snack" for Icelanders for years. If you plan on going to see any of the amazing sights in Iceland like the Eyjafjallajökull glacier or the Blue Lagoon, then you need to have this snack in your bag. They can be found at almost every gas station or supermarket in Iceland.

#SpoonTip: Harðfiskur is best when paired with salted butter. 

4. Soðnar Gellur

Soðnar Gellur (cod tongue) is actually not what it sounds like. This is not actually cod tongue, but rather this food is primarily made up of the meaty, triangular muscle behind the fish's tongue. Because cod has played a vital role in Icelandic cuisine for centuries, this is one of the more well-known foods that not-so-adventurous eaters can try.

5. Pylsur

Pylsur (hot dogs) is considered the unofficial national dish of Iceland. Unlike they're US counterparts, these hotdogs are made mainly from lamb and maybe some pork and beef that's organic, free range, grass-fed, hormone-free. You can find hot dogs almost anywhere. The most popular place to get one of these hot dogs is Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, which has been visited by many famous Americans like Bill Clinton.

6. Skyr

Skyr (yogurt) is probably the least controversial on this list. It's a thick and creamy dairy product that shouldn't even be compared to yogurt. Made from pasteurized skim milk and a bacteria culture similar to yogurt, Icelanders love to eat it plain or with cream and tart berry jams that give it an almost Greek yogurt-like flavor.

7. Lamb

Lamb needs no translation or introduction, being an integral part of Icelandic cuisine. If there's nothing else you try, try this! In Iceland, sheep are allowed to roam without fences and drink water from glacier rivers and eat natural plants and berries. You can find lamb about anywhere in Iceland, from gas stations to five-course restaurants. 

8. Ice Cream

Iceland may be one of the best places to find ice cream in the world. Why? They eat this stuff all year long, whereas in most other countries ice cream is a summer delicacy. You can find ice cream in every town and gas station in Iceland, and trust me when I say to go for that second scoop. In Reykjavík, Ísbúð Vesturbæjar is one of the best places to go.

9. Rúgbrauð

Rúgbrauð (rye bread) is one of the tastiest Icelandic foods. There are a million and one ways to eat rye bread. Whether it's topped with smoked salmon and cheese, blended into ice cream, or served with extra creamy butter and crunchy lava salt, you really can't go wrong with a slice of this stuff. 

#SpoonTip: Get a taste of some of Reykjavik’s best famed rye bread at Cafe Loki, a bistro shop right in front of the city church, and don't forget to try a scoop of the rye-bread ice cream .

10. Lundi

Lundi (Puffin) is one of the more controversial of foods to eat in Iceland due to a recent decrease in the puffin population. A popular way of eating puffin is mjólkursoðinn lundi (a sweet milk sauce) that's a mixture of bacon, butter, milk and redcurrant jelly. 

11. Seafood

Seafood is super important in Iceland since the country is an island. Icelandic fish can be stewed, boiled, grilled, fried, or enjoyed raw. Cod, salmon, and haddock are the most common, with langoustines becoming more common. 

Whether you're going to Iceland for a night as a layover to mainland Europe or you're planning a longer vacation, Icelandic foods aren't ones you'll forget. You can go with something safe like ice cream or rye bread, or you can be adventurous and try fermented shark or sheep's head. No matter what you choose to try, it's sure to leave an impression as some of the best food you've ever tasted.