If you are going to Norway, prepare to change your cooking habits. Norwegian cuisine is rich in fish and seafood dishes, and lamb and game (e.g. elk and reindeer meat) are also popular. Other cuisines are also popular, e.g. Mexican (taco) or Japanese (sushi), but mainly Italian. Frozen pizza Grandiosa pizza has been very high in the popularity rankings for many years.
In this entry we want to tell you what surprised us about Norwegian cuisine when we lived in Norway. Here is a list of 12 things about food that surprised us in Viking country.
1. Brown cheese “brunost” is probably the most characteristic product of Norwegian cuisine. Depending on the type, this cheese is made from a mixture of cow’s and goat’s milk, and the production process gives it a sweet, caramel-like taste and fits perfectly with strawberry jam waffles! Be sure to try it!
2. In Norway, the green part of the leek is most appreciated. It is cut into slices and put on yellow cheese sandwiches, for example. The leek in this form with mayonnaise and salt adds a new dimension to an ordinary sandwich!
3. Norwegians love mayonnaise! Norwegian cuisine cannot do without mayonnaise. It is added to almost everything, and you will also find it in every Norwegian fridge. What’s interesting is that it’s not stored in a jar, but squeezed out of metal tubes or plastic bags.
4. Did you know that Norway is a country where you can get cold scrambled eggs for lunch?! Yes, you didn’t hear that, with smoked salmon, chives and fresh bread tastes really good!
5. Perhaps the most controversial speciality of Norwegian cuisine is smalahove – that is, the head of a sheep, or to be precise, half of it cut lengthwise, which can land on your plate. The head and eye muscles, the eyes and the tongue are suitable for eating. Who would dare?
6. It’s no secret that Norwegians drink a LOT of coffee. They drink black coffee, no milk and no sugar. And they drink it in liters… They often even make more coffee in thermos and drink it during the day and in the evening…
7. Scissors only in the office and school? Not in Norway, there you will find scissors in the kitchen, as Norwegians use them to cut vegetables and other food products. Not a bad idea, huh?
8. Don’t be surprised when you see Norwegians slice broccoli and cook it together with roses of this green vegetable. After all, it’s also edible and contains vitamins, so why throw it away?
9. Not all Norwegian sweets are sweet. Norwegians love jellybeans and aniseed or liquorice candies, the so-called lakris, which are black in colour. For the biggest gourmets of these unusual flavours there are aniseed candies sprinkled with salt. (Un)pleasure guaranteed!
10. One of the most famous Norwegian spirits is akevitt – a very strong vodka, popular at Christmas. You will not guess what this strong drink is drunk with! We will tell you this secret, namely – beer! These Viking descendants have strong heads
11. The word ‘pålegg’ is difficult to translate literally into English. It means everything we can put on a sandwich. Its compound words mean legge – put, på – on. So, pålegg can be cheese, sausage, jam, mackerel in tomatoes, peanut butter, mayonnaise, egg and all that, you want on your sandwich
12. Do you know which day is the Norwegian children’s favourite day? Saturday, of course, because then they can eat sweets. How does it go? During Saturday’s barne-tv (children’s TV programs) each child gets a bowl of sweets (jellies, chocolates, candies, wafers, gums, etc.) and eats them with joy.
And what surprised you most in Norwegian cuisine or in Norwegian culinary habits? Let me know in the comments if you like Norwegian cuisine!