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While the months of spring and summer are perfectly suited for light meals, a richer and more powerful cuisine – often slow cooked, with plenty of patience – typically dominates the Norwegian diet as the days grow shorter.

Two people having lunch at Smalhans restaurant, Oslo, Eastern Norway
Smalhans, Oslo.
Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / Visitnorway.com

Lobster, apple, and deer

In the western city of Stavanger, chef Svein Erik Renaa is the owner and manager of Re-Naa – one of several Norwegian restaurants that has been awarded stars by the prestigious Michelin Guide.

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Svein Erik Renaa in his kitchen
Svein Erik Renaa.
Photo: Tom Haga / Renaa Restauranter
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"Deer and other game are key ingredients for us from September on, and the wonderful apples, pears, and berries of the season tend to characterise our desserts."

A more powerful taste

Many Norwegian food traditions are deeply rooted in the nation’s history of hunting, farming, and fishing. The lobster season lasts from October to Christmas, while sea trout and crab from Northern Norway are among the treasures hauled from the sea in the same period.

The hunting season provides the country’s dinner tables with meat from reindeer, moose, deer, and grouse – all delicacies with a distinct taste of the wild.

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A man and a few sheep in a meadow in the mountains of Skarvheimen, Eastern Norway
Skarvheimen, Buskerud.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Nature’s own pantry

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Drying, pickling, fermenting, and freezing are a few common ways of preserving what you pick, while the season’s apples are typically enjoyed in jam or pies.

Two campers having a cosy campfire dinner on a beach in the evening light
Steigen in Nordland.
Photo: Christian Roth Christensen / Visitnorway.com

Sven Erik Renaa enjoys harvesting himself, particularly mushrooms. However, the master chef readily admits that time – or a lack thereof – makes it hard to pursue this activity on a regular basis.

“I try to get out there as often as I can, but we purchase a great deal for the restaurant, of course. There’s a local retiree who provides us with a lot of mushrooms, and we buy everything he delivers. After all, this is part of his livelihood, and we want to support that.”

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Seasonal food and drink

Don’t know where to go? Find out were to eat below.

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