I realize that I just posted extensively about Icelandic skyr and I don’t exactly want to get sucked into the (delicious) quicksand of writing-about-food, but I just can’t help myself in this instance. I’ll keep it brief, but guys: a doughnut (specifically a kleina) saved me this morning.
The days are getting both darker and shorter here in Reykjavík, although there have been many lovely crisp and bright fall days of late (yesterday was particularly resplendent). But even if the day ends up wonderful and bright, it starts rather dimly, and this can make it very hard to get all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in time for my 8:20 classes three days a week. Nicely enough, I seem to have learned the fine art of actually waking up, getting dressed (in the dark; Mark is still asleep [blarg]), and getting myself to the bus stop in time, but then I seem to go backwards. Instead of becoming more alert the longer I am awake, I seem to get more tired. Commence yawning and eye-watering around the start of class and by the time the coffee break rolls around I am seriously wondering if I will be able to keep my eyes open for another three minutes. This makes it difficult, obviously, to absorb much in the way of grammatical nuances.
But all hail the Icelandic kleina, the delicious twisted doughnut-like pastry which is both incredibly simple and incredibly satisfying. There’s no glaze, and only a little bit of flavoring from the cardamom that is mixed in with the chewy dough. It’s perfect for dipping in your coffee, if you like, or you can just tear off piece after piece and shove them in your mouth as quickly as possible so as to absorb as much kleina power as possible in the space of a single minute. It’s not an instantaneous love, though: it’s a process. One bite and you’re thinking that ‘yeah, that’s not bad at all.’ Two bites and the cardamom kicks in and you’re really piqued. Three bites and you become a kleina-monster just in time for the fourth bite in which you finish the kleina and are both elated (that was an amazing doughnut) and distraught (you only now realize, having finished said doughnut, how delicious it was).
Luckily, I had already experienced and was prepared for immediate kleina withdrawal, so it didn’t pose a problem this morning. Rather, my blood sugar immediately spiked, I became more alert and prepared to differentiate between the sound of ‘o’ and ‘ö.’ Yay! Thank you, Iceland! Thank you, kleina! I am prepared to meet the day!