I have been tagged by Zhu to post about what I love or hate about Norwegian food. Thanks for the invitation, there is a lot to tell but I have done my best! I have taken my assignment very seriously!
Norwegian and Scandinavian food
I have to say that I really like most of the food in Scandinavia. The cuisine is pretty basic and easy to prepare. There are of course some things I am not too crazy about, like liver, or something called ‘bloodpudding’ believe me its not a dessert. Most of the food is good though.
Fish and shellfish
I am especially fond of the selection of fresh fish. With a coastline which stretches the length of the country, and one of the richest fishing waters in the world, the supply of fresh fish is seemingly endless.
Norway is of course famous for it’s salmon, which I love and provides us with important omega 3 fat. Then next is its torsk, known to the rest of the world as cod, which is abundant and delicious especially in casseroles. And of course I love all sorts of shellfish which is readily available here by the sea.
Another food which is Norwegian and I love is brunost, or brown goat cheese. This cheese is unlike any other kind of goat cheese I have tasted, it is not strong like Chévre, its usually mild and sweet. Of course it varies with the aging process, so some of it can be stronger but it is typically sweet and contains a lot of iron. Here you see us eating it even on waffles – another typical Scandinavian food I love! And blueberries too! Notice the traditional heart shape.
We’ve got bread bread and more bread
The bread here is also very good, it is usually not presliced and does not contain preservatives. It is dense compared with most presliced bread, and you are satisfied for a longer time after eating it because it contains a lot of whole grains. White bread here is looked at almost as a dessert or at least a luxury. In Norway they recognise that white bread is stripped of most of its nutritional value. After getting used to the bread I think that whole grain bread has more taste and I don’t much care for white bread anymore, especially the commercial light and fluffy totally empty type like for example Wonder in the USA. My Great Aunt used to joke, you wonder what is in it!!!
So what don’t I like. Well they do eat quite a lot of that bread here. Normally breakfast consist of a couple slices of bread with meat or cheese on it, and lunch consists of a couple slices of bread with meat or cheese on it, and your middle of the day snack, well that often consists of a couple pieces of wasa cracker bread, with something spread on it….so basically you do get a bit bored of bread. And while I totally support brown bagging it, which is the normal way to have lunch at work (matpakke) I find a couple slices of bread without preservatives spread with your topping the night before or possibly in the morning a bit unappatising sometimes. I do prefer warm lunches and soups like I had in the USA. Of course the made at home lunch often contains more nutrition and less fat and calories.
The most important: togetherness
Lastly what I like best about eating here is HOW we eat. We sit together. One does not eat standing and does not leave the table before the others are finished. Also at work, at school, and in daycare. Especially in families it is important that everyone sits down at the same time together and children learn to be patient and polite, and to converse. Couples also have an opportunity to touch base in a busy day, and teenagers get reeled in for at least a half an hour of family time before they disappear – they know their family is there and we see them! Sometimes my children’s friends join us and this gives us an opportunity to get better aquainted with the others in their environment. So we know who our children are running with and what they are like as people.
This is about culture, and values, and putting togetherness first. It’s not that I didn’t eat with my family in the US, however they make a much bigger point of it in Norway, and it is much more universal. Its not just OUR family values, the entire community practices this habit in pretty much the same way. I feel it keeps us grounded and in touch.
To make a good example of this I will show you a better way of eating hotdogs…okay there is no table but we are together and enjoying the family environment. They do taste better that way. Thank you RennyBA for sharing your Norwegian lifestyle with us. Teaching us about your foods, cultures and traditions…and for photographing nearly every dinner I ever made 😉 You’re the best!
Read more about Norwegian food by visiting Renny’s posts: