Norway’s long varied coastline provides ample opportunities for harvesting both “wild” and farm-raised fish. The slow ripening process of everything that grows during the light summer imparts an extraordinary aroma to berries, fruits and vegetables. And animals that graze on the verdant grass provide meat with a distinctive full flavor.
Tasty Norwegian fare
Norway is known for its fish – from cod to monkfish, sea wolf to halibut. Ubiquitous salmon, marinated or smoked, remains a delicacy in this part of the world. Fishballs with new potatoes is a traditional dish, and fishcakes, which can be bought from the fishmonger, make a delicious snack. Whale is found on some restaurant menus.
Autumn is the time to indulge in game such as reindeer, elk or grouse, ideally served with tangy berries and wild mushrooms. Lamb, though not found on many restaurant menus, forms the basis of several treasured Christmas-dishes like fårikål (slowly simmered mutton with cabbage and peppercorns) and pinnekjøtt (which combines salted, dried and smoked lamb). Foreign guests are skeptical of lutefisk, another holiday “treat”, which translates to cod marinated in lye.
Cheese and fruity desserts
Jarlsberg will be familiar to visitors, but geitost (brown goat’s cheese is seldom found outside the country and should be experienced. Usually found at breakfast, it is caramel colored and slightly sweet.
Desserts are always popular. Try bløtkake, a rich sponge cake topped with strawberries, karamellpudding, similar to flan and fresh waffles served with fresh fruit and whipped cream. Thanks to the cool climate and clean air, plums, pears, berries and oversized Morello cherries are pure indulgence.
Food and Drink in Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): Norwegian pinnekjøtt. Photo: Coop
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