Every day up until the 24th, we will ask one of our international friends – journalists, designers, curators and other wonderful folks – to select something that relates to Iceland and/or Icelandic design and architecture, and to tell us, who they would like to give it to.

Today, we are excited to hear writer Brandon Presser‘s pick:

One of my favorite moments from the many trips I’ve taken to Iceland was two years ago while visiting Kraum, a design-focused shop in central Reykjavik.

I asked the store owner what “Kraum” meant, and she responded: “simmering; it’s the simmering of the earth – quakes and volcanos – but also the simmering of the creative brain”.

It’s stuck with me ever since, as I continue to ogle the physical manifestations of Icelandic creativity.

So it might come as a surprise then that my choice for an Icelandic Christmas gift is Hraun, a crunchy chocolate bar that’s something of a hybrid between a Kit Kat and a Rice Crispy treat. When I return from a trip to Iceland I always stuff my suitcase full of tasty Hraun and weep a week later when I’ve devoured my entire stash.


There’s something wholly Icelandic about the dessert: the packaging is utterly quaint; with retro styling that makes you wonder if it’s been sitting on the shelves since the 1960s. And Icelanders love their sugary mashups (though I still can’t get on board with the chocolate-licorice combo).

Perfect for the holiday season, Hraun is best devoured on a cold night when you’re cuddled under the blanket with a loved one watching old movies.


Brandon Presser is a writer and photographer based in New York, . He has written  over 40 books and visiting over 80 countries, and now contributes to a variety of print magazines and online outlets, and also works as a destination consultant, lecturer, public speaker, and TV personality. We met him when he was working on the latest edition of Lonely Planet Iceland, and look forward to seeing him in DesignMarch 2014.