Trøndelag is perhaps Norway’s leading region for local cuisine, and while you are here you can enjoy local food and drink that makes you forget where you are. In recent years the more than 200 producers of local food in Trøndelag have been well represented when the national food awards have been handed out. Products from Trøndelag have won the awards for the processed meat product of the year, the seafood product of the year, the meat product of the year (twice), the seafood commodity of the year and the product of the year since 2009.
A tourism survey in 2014 (it is the only thing we will mention; we promise) showed that a full 64 per cent of visitors to Trøndelag tasted local food compared to 31 per cent in the rest of the country. “Trøndelag is one step ahead the rest of the country,” said Innovation Norway’s Director of Tourism, Per-Arne Tuftin. In other words, it’s not just empty words. It’s in black on white.
Even though Trøndelag’s food producers have every reason to be proud, it also makes them humbler and more tenacious. It’s the case with people from Trøndelag that when we have achieved a position, we do our utmost to ensure we don’t lose it. That is probably the case among the many people who every day produce butter, cheese, sausages, jam, ham or whatever.
If you are travelling here and wish to learn about local food from Trøndelag, we recommend coming in late July or early August. That’s when the annual Trøndelag Food Festival and Brewery Festival are held in Trondheim. You are unlikely to find a better showcase for local food anywhere in the country. The area around the market square in Trondheim is filled with stalls and restaurants where you buy ingredients and products to take home or relax and eat them in a ready-made meal to get an idea of how they can be used. Countless courses are also run during the festival, which are aimed at both adults and children wishing to learn more about food.
Every city with any self-respect has a food hall, and Trondheim is no exception. The Trondheim Food Hall opened in the summer of 2015. This is a two-story showcase of local food from Trøndelag. Downstairs you will find a shop selling locally brewed beer, a grocery store and coffee shop, while upstairs is devoted to a restaurant where you can sit down from early morning until late at night. The food hall also unites some of the cleverest food minds in Trøndelag so there is no shortage of good advice either.
Another arena that showcases food from Trøndelag are the Farmers’ Markets held throughout the region. In Trondheim these markets are held every second weekend basically year-round, while in smaller towns they are generally held monthly. During the annual Christmas Market in Trondheim, which is open most of December, the Farmers’ Market is jointly located in a large food tent. Christmas presents under Trøndelag trees may contain food products from somewhere in the region.
Røros is famous for many reasons, including the mining industry dating from the 17th century and the colourful and picturesque town centre, which in winter is like clip out of any fairy-tale book. But perhaps Røros is best known of all for its food environment. For several years, food producers from here have made his mark in food competitions with premium ingredients. The fact that it’s so cold in Røros provides favourable conditions for those engaged in agriculture. The soil is cleansed every winter and when spring comes it’s once again ready to grow new vegetables.
The farms around Røros produce lots of exciting products too. During the summer season you can go on a guided food safari and taste and buy these excellent products where they are produced. Several of the restaurants in Røros are also of a high level, not least owing to the fresh local produce and the fact that clever people move there to be part of this food environment.
On the peninsula of Inderøy in Nord-Trøndelag you will find another area where a lot of exciting food is produced. Along the Golden Route, which is a detour from the main E6 highway, you will find one exciting business after the other, covering food products as well as arts and crafts.
Perhaps the best known farm producing food here is the cheesemaker Gangstad Gårdsysteri. They make cheeses and ice creams, which have won awards in various national competitions. The products are sold in grocery stores over much of the country, while the Hurtigruten has two of the farm’s ice creams on its menu, which is a vote of confidence in itself. The celebrity chef, Arne Brimi, even has the mould cheese “Edel Blå” from Gangstad on the list of his top 10 favourite Norwegian cheeses. Other companies, such as Berg Gård, Øyna and Gulburet, also produce wonderful food products and are well worth visiting once you are here.
Owing to the warming currents of the Gulf Stream, the Trøndelag coast has exceptionally favourable conditions for cultivating shellfish. Scallops from the island of Frøya were “headhunted” for top French restaurants and the fish is generally very good. The grotteost (cave cheese) made on the island of Hitra has won awards such as the “dairy product of the year” and has won gold medals at the national farm cheese exhibition on three occasions. Dalpro, which is also situated on the island, has won several awards for its venison products, while it also produces premium quality pinnekjøtt (salted and dried ribs of mutton) and hams.
If we mention in closing that blue mussels from the Åfjord have not been eaten with open eyes in years and that we have only covered a small range of what is produced in Trøndelag, then we have provided you a good indication of the excellent range of food products available here.