The Icelandic greenhouse restaurant where everything on the menu is made from tomatoes
When you think of Iceland, you tend to think of glaciers, geysers, volcanoes, earthquakes and dramatic landscapes. Rarely do people think of tomatoes. However, when you stop to think about the country’s never-ending supply of geothermal energy, it’s easy to see the potential. As greenhouse growing continues to expand, taking advantage of the country’s natural resources, so too does production. And whilst the country’s production is minuscule compared with that of large producers such as China and India, 2020 alone saw an increase of over 280% in Iceland’s exports of tomatoes. What’s more, 40% of Iceland’s tomatoes come from just one place – Friðheimar, situated 1 hour east of Reykjavik, where there is also a tomato-themed restaurant inside one of the site’s large greenhouses.
Greenhouse growing has been practiced at Friðheimar since 1946 and the current owners – horticulturist Helena Hermundardóttir and agronomist Knútur Rafn Ármann – have lived there with their children, who are also active participants in the business, since 1995.
So popular is the Friðheimar experience that it’s strongly advisable to book ahead. Note that they’ll keep your reservation for 15 minutes if you are running late but, if it’s any longer, you must call and advise them of any delay if you want to keep your table. Of course, it’s only fair to notify them, but demand is high so be sure to afford this family business this basic courtesy if you don’t wish to lose your table! We had come straight from our Arctic Rafting adventure, located less than a 15-minute drive away, so judging the right time was not too difficult. If travelling from Reykjavik, I would allow an…
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