Bera, a new Icelandic hot sauce, has entered the marketplace, enticing the taste buds of spice lovers across the country.

When it comes to keeping warm in Iceland, most people will dish out advice like visiting the geothermal pools, wearing extra layers of clothing or staying indoors. Of course, a much tastier way of feeling the heat is sampling the new Icelandic hot sauce, Bera, a unique flavour straight out of East Iceland.

See Also: Food in Iceland | An Introduction to Icelandic Cuisine 

The sauce was created by William Odin Lefever who began the process by experimenting at home, offering his creations for taste-testing to friends and family.

All ingredients of Bera are sourced from Karlsstaðir in Berufjörður fjord but the inspiration came from the Caribbean style of hot sauce making.

Aside from his adoration of chillies, Odin’s desire to create his brand of hot sauce was purely artisan, stating “The thought has never been to make money on this. My goal is to put the sauce in the hands of those who appreciate it.”

Odin slicing mangos for Bera Hot Sauce. Credit: Lefever Hot Sauce Facebook.

To get the business off the ground, Odin appealed to potential customers on Karolina Fund, selling bottles before an official release in order to finance a possible continuation of the product.

The support was apparent immediately, with Odin quickly exceeding his 5000 USD target.

True hot sauce fans—a different breed of foodie altogether—will rejoice at this news. After all, their dedication to the hot stuff leads to them writing blogs, setting up festivals and taste-testing every new product on the market. That’s to say nothing of the constant capsaicin counting (the active component of chilli peppers).

Real spice fanatics will carry a small bottle of hot sauce wherever they go, just on the off chance a meal needs that extra kick. Thanks to Bera, Icelanders can now join this trend with their country’s first hot sauce brand. Just be warned; this sauce packs a punch, so make sure to tread lightly dousing your meats!

So What Does Bera Taste Like?

Credit: Guide to Iceland.

Almost immediately, you are struck by just how fruity this hot sauce is, a consequence no doubt of the banana and mango ingredients. Quickly enough, the fresh taste of fennel seeps through before giving way to the sudden, explosive chilli. This is where my issues began, though the enduring taste continues to satisfy, and inflict pain, long after the final mouthful. 

Taste testing this delicious new hot sauce became more difficult with each tentative bite. For starters, I began with a healthy blob positioned on a chicken wing (of course) which immediately set off the shakes in my cheeks, under the eye and along the back of my neck. Clearly, this was not a hot sauce to be messed with by amateurs. 

My chest began to tingle, humming with each fresh wave of heat, and my nose and eyes began to seep with surprising intensity. Soon enough, I had difficulties keeping my eyes open, which is nothing if not a problem when writing a review.

And yet, I was delighted. Only five minutes prior to sampling this delicious new brand, I had been suffering, all day, with a pulsating and inescapable hangover. Within a few seconds, it had disappeared entirely, replaced with the radiating high that comes with a heavy dose of capsaicin.

All in all, this is one hot sauce not to miss for true fans.  I mean… god damn… what lunatic said Iceland was cold? 

If you’re looking for a quick way to warm up during your stay in Iceland, or you want to add some heat to your food while here, make sure to grab yourself a bottle of Bera, available in selected stores now. Be sure to leave your thoughts and comments in the Facebook comments box below.