Where the Lambs Go Wild
Look for the logo to know you have the genuine Icelandic article
The Icelandic lamb has roamed the hills and mountains of Iceland ever since Viking settlers first brought sheep to the country in the 9th century. Today’s robust breed is a direct descendant of these first animals and genetically identical.Nowadays it wanders all summer long in carefully defined extensive wild pastures in pristine mountainous landscapes under strict agriculture regulations and a quality control scheme which protects the integrity of the Icelandic lamb.
Iceland has always been a leader in sustainability, and remains one of the purest environments in the world. There’s little pollution, and farming is conducted in such a way that preserves the land for future use, incorporating aspects of social responsibility. The wool is a natural product and only eco-friendly energy sources are used in the manufacturing process.
The Icelandic wool has kept the nation warm for more than 1100 years with the sheep originally brought here from Norway by the settlers. The Icelandic wool made it possible for the settlers to survive in the harsh northern climate Due to the isolation and absence of contact with other breeds the Icelandic sheep still carries characteristics long disappeared from their relatives in the neighbouring countries.
In order to endure the cold and harsh arctic climate the sheep have developed several specialities. The fleece is divided into two layers, tog and thel. The tog consists of long and coarse hair with water repellent qualities. The inner layer, thel, is shorter, softer and fluffier providing insulation and warmth. Combining the two provides an exceptional thread for producing clothing that gives warmth in spite of getting wet.
The fleece differs depending on the age of the animal with lamb’s wool being the softest and finest but old rams bearing the roughest. The four basic colours of the Icelandic breed are black, white, yellow and moorit with numerous combinations and color patterns, such as badgerface, grey or moorit mofloun and other bi-color variations. Although many will admit to having a soft spot for various color patterns, the white wool is the most sought-after, and therefore the most common sheep color in Iceland.
Flavored by the wild pastures and raised without any hormones or antibiotics in pure environment, Icelandic lamb meat is wonderfully lean, flavorful and tender. The distinctive taste is a result of the grass and the aromatic and spicy herbs on which the lambs graze. The taste of Icelandic lamb is unique. The meat is dark, with a bit of a gamey flavor which some have described as being similar to venison. Lamb can differ in taste depending on where in the world it comes from and the conditions and environment the animals are reared in. In Iceland the lambs live in outstanding conditions, which of course is very important. In october 2016 Genetically modified sheep‘s feed was banned by the Minstry of industry and innovations, making all Icelandic lamb meat GMO Free.
The close knitted relationship between farmers, restaurant owners and retailers is a key factor in maintaining the quality and integrity of the Icelandic lamb. Icelandic Lamb’s restaurant partners promise to offer only quality Icelandic Lamb on their menu, celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of Icelandic Lamb meat. When you see our shield hanging in a restaurant you know that they offer excellent lamb dishes, that does the Icelandic lamb great justice.You can also find the Icelandic lamb logo on wool and fleece products in Iceland. Only Icelandic design products made out of Icelandic wool are tagged with the logo, making it easier to find authentic Icelandic wool products. Look for our logo while travelling in Iceland for a real Icelandic Lamb experience.