What to Eat in Norway

After traveling to Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland, I’ve grown a deep appreciation for some Scandinavian goodies. There’s a general sense of fresh seafoods, the use of local herbs, game meats and unique berries that we loved exploring out there.

Generally, people had told us how food is pretty expensive out there, which is the case if you plan on eating in fancier restaurants the whole time. We found lots of grocery stores with food prices similar to what we pay out here in the Bay Area. Even convenience stores like 7-11 have a quality selection of cheeses and breads, so we picked up quick foods to go throughout the trip.

I really miss the food in Norway and have found myself already trying to re-create dishes back here in Oakland.  As I go through the photos, my mouth can’t help but water at the sight. Keep in mind, I am not really a food photographer (I took some photos just to make note of it for later) but the memories of it is just too good not to share.

BRUNOST

The Norwegian brown cheese that I’ve already mentioned a couple times in past posts. Seriously, this stuff is delicious. It’s something that locals have grown up with as kids and is a staple in breakfasts and snacking for us. A little slice of this creamy cheese on a slice of soft wheat bread was almost an everyday thing for us. The taste is sweet, similar to a light caramel or peanut butter, and its main ingredient is whey which makes it less like cheese (considering whey is usually the byproduct of cheesemaking). The stores had lots of options too: mild, regular, goat milk variety, etc. Anytime we say a new one, we had to bring it back to try it. The downside to this was it came in a large brick and not something easily packed away during travels, we generally had too much to eat, especially when we wanted to keep eating the different flavors.

CREAMY FISH SOUP

Thinking about this dish warms my soul. Usually made with the common cod and shrimp found in a lot of Norwegian fare, it can also be found combined with other seafoods (like mussels). This dish is how Evie realized she loves mussels, that’s how good it was. Think of it like a thin chowder but also lightened with the use of herbs. We tried it all over in different places, and found some use leeks, some chive oil, some have strong parsley, but all delicious.

CURED LAMB

I. Love. Lamb. yep. It’s delicious… and probably my favorite meat. Norwegians have a way of salting, sometimes smoking, and curing the meat for a couple months to a year. Commonly served with a rutabaga puree and potatoes, it makes for a really hearty meal. The lamb is tender and packed with so much flavor. We were also lucky enough to visit, Fenaknoken in Oslo, where the legs of meat are hung along the ceiling and we were given a special history lesson of the cultural importance and production method of this specialty.

GAME MEATS

Growing up in a hunting family, we have a deep appreciation for tasting the different types of meat around the world. Out in Norway; reindeer, elk, and moose are commonly found in local fare. It was harder to find in restaurants as some places serve it in the holiday season only, but you can find this in grocery stores in the form of steaks or sausages. We ate the sausages with our brunost and bread for mid-day snacking. We ended up finding a reindeer steak and the taste was actually quite unexpected. It had a light liver flavor to it, which was actually really delicious, and served with some dipping sauces including one made from lingonberries.

SOMERSBY ELDERFLOWER AND LIME CIDER

We ran some beer and cider tests out there… you know, for research ;P After trying a couple different brews, we both definitely had one that stuck out. It doesn’t break our top 10 lists or anything, I just felt like it was surprisingly really good and pretty common out there, so you should definitely try it if you are there. I would have never expected the flavors of elderflower and lime in a cider and myself, my husband, even my parents were all impressed.

VERDEN’S BESTE CAKE

Norway’s best cake, but really I would put it up there as the best cake in the world (and I am not alone on that). I had no idea that a country could have a “national cake,” but I totally understand why now. Light meringue layered in buttery sponge cake with thick vanilla cream and almonds sprinkled on top. Seriously, the best cake ever.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…

Lingonberries are everywhere with a sweetness and tartness that can go with everything from sweet waffles to savory steaks. One jam that I had not seen before that was common out there was Cloudberry jam. I bought a jar of it to take home and try it but it got confiscated at the airpot, as I looked on with my sad face. Evie loved the juices as they all came in bottles, and the fact that pancakes were crepes and served with jam and sugar, she also had a Nutella crepe which basically made her crash super hard from the sweetness. I am not sure what they did to grow asparagus, but they are tasty!  Both white and green varieties can be found on most dishes.  Open-faced sandwiches are everywhere and tasty, but a little too messy for my liking. There was all sorts of pickled herring and shrimp items, but we ended up not tasting these dishes until we got to Denmark.

You guys just have no idea hungry I got from just writing this post.

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