Find your favourite bolle
Warning: highly addictive
Travelling? Birthday party? After work snack? A little reward on a tough day?
The bolle is always there for you.
In Norway, we love this little gooey wonder of a yeast bun.
Do you sense a hint of cardamom?
Sometimes we add more butter, sugar, and loads of cinnamon …
… and voilà! You get the famous kanelbolle (spiral) or kanelsnurr (knot).
Buns can seduce a stone
“Norwegian buns are simply irresistible”, says Bodil Nordjore, a Norwegian cookbook author and bun enthusiast who has won several awards for her work with Norwegian food culture.
“The small wonders can seduce a stone, and they make the world a little better for a few minutes”, she says, and continues the praise: “They do not stick and do not crumble. They smell heavenly and get the taste buds going.”
What’s not to like?
“You find some sort of sweet baked buns all over the world, but the Norwegian ones are special and have less fat than for instance the french brioche”, Nordjore explains.
Although now an integral part of our culture, it wasn’t until the white wheat first came to Norway in the 19th century, and people got stoves in their private homes, that buns became a favourite treat.
Always by your side
Traditionally, Norwegian bun eaters divide into two groups: with or without raisins. Bodil Nordjore prefers hers with loads of raisins and as soft as possible.
You can eat your buns in a cafe or on the go. And the good news is that no matter how or when you want them, they are literally available on every corner, from bakeries and cafes, shops – even petrol stations. In 2017 Norwegian petrol stations alone sold more than 40 million buns, according to TV2.no.
In fact, the petrol station Shell Espa in Eastern Norway has taken buns for travellers to a whole new level: They sold 1.5 million buns in 2019 and are famously known as Bolleland (yes, it translates to “bun land”). A stop here is mandatory when you travel from Oslo to popular skiing destinations like Hafjell, Sjusjøen, Kvitfjell, and Trysil.
In the mountain village of Lom, situated between Eastern Norway and Fjord Norway, the bakery has become a destination in itself. Especially in the summertime, travellers are more than happy to queue up for buns and other sorts of baked goods.
Here comes the sun!
Every December, we add something special to the bolle dough: saffron!
We call the S shaped saffron buns for Lussekatter, and they're made for the celebration of Saint Lucy’s day on 13 December.
They are so yummy, it’s difficult to eat just one. But who says you have to limit yourself?
Another favourite is skolebrød – big buns filled with velvety vanilla custard and decorated with icing dipped in grated coconut.
A bun can even be a fashion statement. Oslo girl Nicoline Lysholm’s pink glazed cinnamon buns called Skillings quickly became an Instagram hit when she launched them in the spring of 2020.
Within days, a line of people were waiting for fresh buns.
How do the experts like their buns?
It’s safe to say that you can enjoy the bun culture anywhere in Norway – even at the Michelin star phenomenon Maaemo. The restaurant is widely regarded as Norway’s best eatery and at the forefront of Nordic cuisine. After their reopening in trendy Bjørvika in Oslo, the chef added cinnamon buns to the menu.
After being served the meal of their lives, guests are shown into a new room where coffee and cinnamon buns are the crescendo. Even after a 15-course dinner, no one can resist a freshly baked cinnamon bun that feels like a hug for your taste buds.
How would you like yours?
Find a bakery near you
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