Norwegian food is not known for spicy flavours and bright colours, but that doesn’t mean we’re vanilla!
From stinky fish to crumbled cheese and unusual meat servings – this is the food you never knew you wanted to try.
First things first: We can’t talk about Norwegian cuisine without mentioning seafood. But there is more to it than just salmon and fresh cod.
Like stockfish, for example. We call it tørrfisk, and it doesn’t have an appealing odour – but that is the smell of money. You see, this is the fish that built Norway.
You can enjoy it grilled, baked or cooked. Small, dry slices of tørrfisk are also popular to eat as a healthy snack – and dogs love it too!
Not challenging enough?
No one knows how someone came up with the idea, but lutefisk is stockfish treated with water and lye. And yes, we are talking about the same lye that we use in batteries and soap.
It tastes better than it sounds, and lutefisk is, in fact, a popular Norwegian Christmas dinner, served with bacon and aquavit.
Well, this looks pretty harmless
– doesn’t it? Think again.
Our super old cheese traditions still pack quite the punch! Like this gamalost (looks like bread) or pultost (looks like risotto).
We use skimmed sour milk to create them, which should give you an idea of the flavour.
Can you guess what they prepare here?
A little heads-up: It is definitely our strangest culinary speciality.
Yup, we literally meant heads up.
We know how it looks ... and even bad-ass celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was put to the test when he visited Voss.
P.s: If you want to take this challenge to the next level, visit the places that serve the sheep’s … ehm ... crown jewels as a side dish.
Another traditional dish is dumplings the Norwegian way. Our potato dumplings have several names, depending on where you try them.
Or perhaps you’re more tempted to try the Norwegian version of KFC’s famous crispy chicken?
Fried cod tongue is a delicacy!
Next up: fermented fish.
This is another example of how Norwegians got creative back in the days when it was all about preserving as much food as possible.
Rakfisk is fermented trout, and this dish even has its own festival: the annual Norsk Rakfiskfestival.
Some fish can be fermented for years, with the blood and gut!
When making gammelsaltasei (roughly translates to salted old coalfish), we skip the “cut and bleed” step before the fermentation process.
If fermented fish sounds like it’s too much to handle, try gravlaks instead.
The salmon is cured and not fermented, and has a milder taste.
Then there is this strange habit that we have: indulging in fried or smoked cod roe.
Our most beloved variety, is the smoked cod roe on tube, kaviar.
Even though Norwegian caviar is not as fancy as the posh Beluga Caviar, we sure do love it. Try it on a slice of bread for your next hotel breakfast, for instance with boiled egg.
Often referred to as “the silver in the sea”, herring has been an essential source of income for many countries.
In Norway, we call it sursild, and we celebrate the fish at several herring festivals throughout the country.
And we like our herring pickled! Some even make unique varieties just for Christmas.
Other odd delicacies from the ocean include sea urchins, cod liver oil, seaweed, and the brains from the Norway haddock.
We have peculiar taste, we know. If you think you’re as tough as the Vikings, why don’t you join us and find out?
If you want to prepare yourself first,
see what others think of our bizarre food.
Norwegian cuisine is all about raw, locally sourced ingredients – and not all our specialities are that weird. Get inspired to embark on a culinary adventure like no other!
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