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Chefs garnishing raw tastes of autumn in the kitchen at the Umami restaurant in Harstad, Norway
Umami restaurant, Harstad.
Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / Visitnorway.com
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Lobster, lamb, and moose. Root vegetables that have grown sooo slowly, steadily soaking up the sweet tastes of mother earth. Autumn is the hunting and harvest time, when the forests abound with berries, mushrooms, and game.

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

Smalhans, Oslo
Smalhans, Oslo.
Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / Visitnorway.com

Lobster, apples, and deer

In the western city of Stavanger, chef Svein Erik Renaa runs and owns Re-Naa – one of several Norwegian restaurants with stars in the prestigious Michelin Guide.

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Svein Erik Renaa
Svein Erik Renaa.
Photo: Tom Haga / Renaa Restauranter

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“Deer and game meat are significant commodities to us from September on. And the great apples, pears, and berries of the season tend to characterize our desserts."

A more powerful taste

A lot of the Norwegian food traditions are deeply rooted in the nation’s history of hunting, farming and fishing. 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.

Steigen, Nordland
Steigen, Nordland.
Photo: Christian Roth Christensen / Visitnorway.com

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Skarvheimen, Buskerud
Skarvheimen, Buskerud.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Nature’s own pantry

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Drying, pickling, fermenting and freezing are only a few ways of conserving the catch, while the season’s apples typically reach perfection as jam or pies.

Steigen, Nordland
Steigen, Nordland.
Photo: Christian Roth Christensen / Visitnorway.com

Sven Erik Renaa enjoys harvesting himself, particularly mushrooms. However, the master chef readily admits that time – or 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 lot for the restaurant, of course. There’s a local retiree who provide us with a lot of mushrooms, for instance, and we buy everything he delivers. After all, this is part of his livelihood, and we want to support that.”

Hungry for more?

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Seasonal food and drink

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

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