The national Norwegian cuisine is influenced by the northern climate with a short warm season, the availability of seafood and wildlife. Some dishes will seem familiar to a foreigner, others will cause confusion.
Description of Norwegian cuisine
For a long time, the gastronomic peculiarities of Norway did not go beyond the borders of the country. Europe was not particularly interested in the dishes of fishermen and peasants with a specific composition, and sometimes even a frightening look. But the Scandinavians did not abandon their identity, only shifted the emphasis to environmental friendliness and nutritional value of food. Norwegian cuisine is now associated with tasty and healthy fish, seafood and wild meat.
Norwegian cuisine is quite distinctive and unique.
Climate and geographic location have had a decisive influence on the diet of Norwegians. This is a simple and high-calorie food, the task of which is to saturate a person for a long time. In the harsh conditions of life, people had to come up with ways of waste-free consumption and preservation of products.
The seeming monotony at first glance is wrong. From the local set of animal and plant foods, the people have created a wide selection of dishes, making the cuisine distinctive.
Fish is a staple of the Norwegian cuisine. Salmon, trout, herring, pink salmon, whale meat and cod from the northern waters are distinguished by their taste and high quality. They are baked, boiled, dried, pickled, fermented and smoked. Each region adheres to its own cooking traditions. There are fish on the tables every day and in several forms.
Meat makes up a small fraction of the typical diet of the average person in the country. These are game, lamb, beef, less often pork and poultry. From side dishes they prefer potatoes and cereals.
Mainly oats and barley are grown, because cold-resistant crops. They are used to bake lefse flatbreads and flatbreads that do not spoil for a long time. Porridge is eaten infrequently, but oatmeal with sour cream will certainly be put on the festive table.
For many centuries, due to partial isolation and natural restrictions on the development of agriculture, few vegetables were consumed. But with the popularization of healthy eating and thanks to imports, their number in the diet of the average citizen has increased significantly.
How Norwegian cuisine developed
In the XVIII century. potatoes were brought to the country for the first time. This nutritious and versatile vegetable was readily accepted by the people, and its cultivation on the peninsula did not cause any trouble. Farmers do without the use of chemical crop treatments. This is facilitated by the isolation of lands from cities and low temperatures.
Norway is not as conservative in terms of nutrition as it might seem at first glance. Exotic fruits and vegetables, pasta, pizza, American fast food and oriental spices are easily incorporated into the diet. Modern chefs risked a little deviation from the established centuries-old foundations of gastronomy and adapted old recipes to new trends.
Food in the country is not cheap. But residents are willing to pay for quality and support the national idea of maintaining high food industry standards. The shops are dominated by local products.
For breakfast, they make multi-tiered sandwiches with cheese and meat filling, sweet sandwiches. Children love cornflakes, fruit muesli, yoghurts. Drink coffee, less often tea or juice.
Lunch at work or at home also consists of a multi-layered open sandwich. Complex dishes with proteins and carbohydrates are prepared for dinner. Vegetable salads are also eaten, but they prefer to supplement them with seafood, meat and potatoes.
Norwegians love milk and can drink it several times a day.
On Friday nights, most people go to eat waffles. By this time, they are baked in large quantities in cafes and street tents.
National dishes of Norway
National food in its traditional form is still in demand within the country. Particular attention is paid to products of animal origin.
Meat and game
The clogged carcasses are used completely so that nothing is lost. Steamed meat is cooked immediately or subjected to various kinds of processing. They make canned food and sausages in all sorts of regional variations. By-products are also used. The liver is used to make the filling for the left-sided sandwiches, the beef tongue is tung and silte brawn.
Norwegian lamb is considered environmentally friendly and one of the best in the world. Its use occurs in the fall. The tenderness and juiciness of meat is achieved through grazing animals on pastures with rich vegetation and clean mountain water.
The hunting season is opened in autumn. This means that many restaurants and homes will serve game dishes with northern berry sauces:
- reindeer and common deer;
- white hare.
Carcasses of animals are sold in special stores and even donated for the holidays.
Tartars with spices and onions are prepared from raw bear meat. There are beef and moose recipes, with egg yolk and pickles.
Fish and seafood
Norway is one of the three leading countries in the production and sale of fish. High palatability is achieved through cultivation in a natural and clean environment. Numerous fish markets offer a wide range of products, but they are seasonally dependent. Specialties:
- torsk fever;
- pickled herring sursild;
- fermented rakfisk trout;
- salmon graavilohi.
Until the beginning of the XX century. Norwegians did not eat shellfish because they spoil quickly, are less nutritious and laborious to catch. But then mussels, shrimps, scallops and crabs took root and became in demand among the population.
Brunost. The tradition of brewing whey has existed in Norway for a long time. But in the 19th century. the farmer’s adventurous wife decided to add cream, and the result was a new kind of cheese with unusual characteristics. For such an invention she was awarded the royal medal.
Dairy products are delicious in Norway, especially cheese.
Brunost has a delicate aroma, light brown color of boiled condensed milk and a sour-salty aftertaste with a note of sweetness. For foreigners, it is a delicacy product, and for Norwegians, everyday food. Today there are several varieties of it:
- “Ekte Yatost”;
Ridder is a semi-hard cheese, moderately spicy without eyes. At first, it was produced by a small factory in small quantities, and now it is exported to many European countries.
Snephrix – obtained from goat and cow milk. Has a bright taste and flexible texture. The recipe was invented in 1994, but quickly gained popularity due to its versatility. Sandwiches, desserts, berry and fruit cakes are prepared with it.
Gamalust is a semi-hard cheese with mold and spike. It is mentioned in historical documents for the first time in 1774.
When mature, it is golden brown, the cut is moist, does not form a crust.
Jarlsberg is a cheese with a spicy and sweetish taste, semi-hard. It is exported, popular in Europe and America. The variety was invented thanks to the transfer of experience by Swiss cheese makers.
Pastries and sweets are consumed in large quantities. Norwegians prefer hearty desserts that are simple and complex:
- troll cream made from lingonberries, cranberries and eggs beaten with sugar;
- nut cake with almonds;
- apples with biscuits;
- rice cream with strawberries;
- bagels with cardamom;
- swelle pancakes with different fillings;
- wafer rolls with cream;
- spillingball cinnamon buns;
- cookies stuffed with ice cream krumkake;
- fruit cake with bletcake cream.
Drinks from Norway
As for the drinks, the Norwegians prefer coffee. Beer is in second place, once it was made in almost every family, especially for the New Year holidays.
They came up with the idea of making ligne aquavit vodka from potatoes with spices. Oak barrels are filled with infusion and placed on the ship. So they spend some time in the sea, and as a result of fermentation, an alcoholic drink is obtained. On the labels of the bottles, they write information about the vessel and the characteristics of the batch.
Brennevin is another famous strong alcoholic beverage made from cereals and potatoes. To soften the taste, natural berry and fruit flavors are added.
Wine has been made from honey since the time of the Vikings. In winter, it is added to tea or drunk hot.
Cider is made from apple juice. It is infused with herbs and spices, which is why the shade of the drink varies from light golden to dark.
Blackberry wine and fruit beer are less popular with the population. They are preferred by lovers of light alcohol.
What products to please loved ones, coming from Norway
For foreigners, the opportunity to taste authentic Norwegian products appears only within the country. They bring home a lot of edible souvenirs:
- Brunost and other hard and soft cheeses.
- Klipfisk is a salty dry cod.
- Caviar of marine fish in tubes with varying degrees of smoking.
- Herring, cod, mackerel, salmon, fresh sardines vacuum packed, marinated, dried with spices, in cans.
- Raw salmon with horseradish gravet lax.
- Dry and uncooked smoked sausages from deer, elk, horse meat.
- Cloudberry, blueberry, cranberry jam.
- “Quick” chocolate and other products of the “Freya” factory.
- Salty and sweet candies “Lakris”.
- Vodka Linier – “Aquavit”.
- Valhalla herbal liqueur.
Traditional Norwegian food
Old recipes and food preparation technologies are still in use in Norway. Traditional dishes do not lose their relevance among the local population, and simple and unique delicacies are always in demand among tourists.
Phelanor is a salted and naturally dried leg of lamb, reminiscent of a Spanish ham. This is a typical Western Norwegian food dating back to the Viking Age. Cut into thin slices before serving.
Dried leg of lamb is a national dish of the inhabitants of Norway.
Mix of liver, boiled cod and caviar. Potatoes and vegetables, which are available, are served as a side dish. There is a recipe when the dish is made right in the belly of a fish in the last days of winter. At this time, the caviar of the cod matures and the liver becomes large.
Cod is soaked for 3 days in a solution of soda, then water. This is another way of preserving fish, which is also known in the United States. After baking in the oven, it looks like jelly. The fish is served with bacon, potatoes, mashed peas and mustard.
In the western part of the country, they came up with the idea of boiling and drying the head of a ram. The brain is removed, treated with salt, smoked and dried. Cook for about 3 hours and serve with potatoes and rutabaga. Half the head is placed on a plate.
First, they eat the ear and eye, then move from the nose to the back.
The recipe for the dish was invented by peasants who had to procure a lot of meat for future use. This national dish of Norway is always present on Christmas tables.
Lamb ribs are soaked in salty solution, hung outside in a cool and ventilated place. Then the meat is smoked in a stove chimney or over a fire. Before cooking, keep in cold water to remove excess salt. Steam the ribs in a large saucepan. Birch sticks are placed on the bottom with a lattice, and mutton on them.
It is dried fish without salt and has a long shelf life. For terrfix they take cod, sometimes other types of white fish. It is eaten as a snack, soups are cooked and added to other dishes.
In Norway, dried cod is not only eaten as a separate snack, but numerous dishes are prepared from it.
Brunost cheese is a traditional product of Norway. It can be made at home.
- homemade fresh whey – 1.5l;
- cream 30% – 200 ml.
- The whey is placed on medium heat, brought to a boil. White flakes of protein are formed.
- Reduce heat and boil down to 0.5 liters. This process takes an hour or more. Stir periodically with a wooden spatula, be sure to pass along the bottom so that the sediment does not burn.
- Cream is poured in, boiled again until thickened.
- You get a creamy mass. Beat it with an immersion blender or rub it through a fine sieve.
- Transfer to a small frying pan, heat with constant stirring for 3-5 minutes.
The mass will begin to collect in an elastic ball. It is transferred to a mold and left to cool. Then they are placed in an airtight container and wrapped in film. It is stored in the refrigerator for at least a month, and in the freezer it is stored for up to six months.
Brunost is served with coffee on black bread or with waffles, poured over with syrup, honey or jam. They make sweet fondues and add to sauces.
Norwegians indulge in cooking experiments. For a long time, they have used many of the world’s most popular foods and condiments that add variety to their everyday home-cooked meals.
Pasta casserole with fish
- fresh or defrosted white fish fillet – 600 g;
- feather pasta – 300 g;
- milk – 2 tbsp .;
- eggs – 3 pcs.;
- butter – 50 g;
- flour – 2 tbsp. l .;
- bread crumbs – 3 tbsp. l .;
- greens for decoration;
- salt, ground black pepper to taste;
- nutmeg – ½ tsp
Fish pasta casserole is a simple but delicious Norwegian dish.
Step by step cooking:
- Boil pasta until medium cooked.
- The fish is peeled from the skin, the bones are removed. Cook for 15-20 minutes, cool and separate into small pieces by hand.
- Oil is lubricated in a dish suitable for baking in the oven.
- Pasta and fish are mixed, salted and pepper.
- Melt the butter in a frying pan, add flour and fry until golden brown.
- Add nutmeg, pour in half the milk. Cook until thick.
- The yolks are separated from the proteins, mixed with the rest of the milk and added to the sauce, stirring constantly.
- The mass is evenly poured over pasta.
- The whites are whipped into a strong foam and spread over the surface of the mold, covered with breadcrumbs.
- Send to an oven preheated to 200 ° C for 40 minutes.
When the casserole has cooled down, garnish with herbs and serve warm.
Rustic herring salad
- slightly salted herring – 3 pcs.;
- apple – 1 pc.;
- onion – 1 pc.;
- sweet pepper – 1 pc.;
- hard-boiled yolk – 2 pcs.;
- large tomato – 1 pc.;
- corn grains – 100 g;
- sour cream – 2 tbsp. l .;
- lettuce leaves.
For the sauce:
- wine vinegar – 1 tbsp. l .;
- sunflower oil – 1 tbsp. l .;
- sour cream – 3 tbsp. l .;
- water – 100 ml;
- Fish fillets are rinsed under water, cut into small pieces.
- Beat sour cream with a spoonful of water and pour herring into it for 30 minutes.
- Peel and dice apples, onions, peppers, tomatoes. Lettuce leaves are torn by hand.
- The ingredients are mixed in a bowl, the yolk and corn are added.
- For the sauce, beat all the ingredients and pour the dressing into the salad.
Christmas cookies with protein glaze
- flour – 200 g;
- eggs – 3 pcs.;
- butter – 100 g;
- vanillin – to taste;
- icing sugar – 2 tbsp. l.
- Boil 1 egg and chill. The yolk is ground into crumbs.
- Beat soft butter and sugar for a few minutes. Add raw yolks and stir again until smooth.
- Pour in flour, vanillin and knead the dough of a dense, but soft texture.
- Pinch off a small piece and form a ball.
- Whisk the raw proteins until a layer of foam forms. Take turns dipping balls there and roll in powdered sugar.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake at 180 ° C for 25 minutes.
The finished biscuit has a golden color with a glossy sheen. Cool for 2-3 hours before serving. As a gift they are presented in a tin or paper box.