Features of the Norwegian cuisine and places to eat in Norway
Scandinavian cuisine is incredibly tasty and the Norwegian cuisine is no exception. When travelling to this hospitable country do not miss an opportunity to visit the local restaurants and get to know the main culinary traditions.
Features of the Norwegian cuisine
The main components of the Norwegian cuisine are local products: meat, fish, and milk. Vegetables, fruits and cereals are not widely used. In restaurants, you can always order dishes from pork, beef, lamb, poultry, deer, grouse, and elk. The game dishes are prepared usually only on holidays. They are served with juniper berries and sweet and sour sauces. A kind of specialty is whale meat.
Fish in Norway are stocked, dried, boiled, fried, stewed, smoked, and marinated. The most popular is cod, flounder, halibut, salmon, herring, and trout.
Climatic conditions do not work towards the cultivation of a large number of grains. Perhaps, porridge is mostly eaten on holidays due to this fact. And still you can see wheat, barley, oatmeal on the tables of locals even on weekdays. Norwegian specialty is sour cream porridge – remmegret – with cinnamon, butter and sugar.
In Norway, barley and oats are grown, and the locals make flat bread that can be stored for a long time. Dairy products are also popular in the country. Norwegians drink milk and cream; eat sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. As for vegetables, potatoes are especially popular in the local cuisine. Boiled in jackets, they are served with fish and meat dishes.
One of the highlights of the Norwegian cuisine is cheese. Among many international brands there are two that cannot be found anywhere else except in Norway. Brunost, made from goat's milk, has a brown color and is somewhat similar to the cocoa or chocolate, but the taste and smell cannot be compared with anything. Gamalost is an old cheese. Tourists need to be brave and curious enough to try it.
Popular Norway dishes
For Christmas, the Norwegians make salted and steamed lamb ribs with potatoes. In the eastern regions of the country another holiday dish is popular – pork with spices. Also, the locals often prepare fish or turkey.
Salads and snacks
Among the most popular snacks: boiled shrimp, Norwegian hot dog – sausages in the potato cakes, kotkaker meatballs of ground beef, brown goat cheese, herring and other fish. Salads in Norway are usually prepared with vegetables (especially potatoes), seafood and meat.
One of the most famous soups is nutrient farikal (lamb stew with cabbage) with potatoes. A dish that is made from beer, milk, sugar and flour is also a kind of soup. This so-called Norwegian soup is eaten with black bread croutons.
- remmegret – sour cream porridge with cinnamon and sugar;
- kotkaker – meatballs of ground beef;
- pinnekjott– salted or dried lamb chops roasted on the grill;
- lutefisk – fish, soaked in an alkaline solution of caustic soda and prepared with bacon, mushy peas and boiled potatoes;
- clipfish – stock or dried fish without head (most often it’s cod);
- gravlax – salmon marinated in sugar, salt and spices;
- boknafisk – half-stock or dried fish;
- pultost – a soft cheese made from sour milk with salt and cumin;
- lefse – bread from sour milk, rye flour and mashed potatoes.
Norwegians have big sweet teeth, and there is a great choice of desserts here. First of all, it's pastry: fruit buns, muffins, casseroles, pancakes with cranberries and other berries, bread with honey. For flavoring, cardamom is often used.
At Christmas, the Norwegians often prepare shaped cookies (rosettes) with powdered sugar, and as an everyday dessert they eat crispy waffle cookies krumkake.
Norwegians often drink coffee, beer, whiskey, gin and liqueurs. You should also try a Scandinavian drink aquavit from alcohol, potatoes or grains with different herbs.
Where to eat in Norway
There are different options where you can eat – everything depends on your budget and preferences:
- restaurants with typical Norwegian dishes;
- cafes and bars;
- street stalls where you can buy pizza, French fries, chips, hot dogs, and fried chicken;
- Fast Food (McDonald's, Burger King).
Food in Norway is quite expensive and if you want to save money then visit a cafe or buy cheap food at street stalls (if you want, take-away coffee and sandwiches can be ordered at gas stations).
Food prices in Norway cafés
- hot dog and Coke at a fast food place – EUR 3;
- meals for two persons in a kebab house – EUR 36;
- two goes of the spaghetti Bolognese and wine – EUR 60;
- main course in a restaurant – EUR 24–36;
- salad in a restaurant – EUR 18–24;
- 0.5 l beer in a bar – EUR 12.
Culinary tour in Norway
If you opt for a gastronomic tour in Norway, you will be able to visit culinary workshops given by top Norwegian chefs, try the traditional Norwegian cuisine, visit breweries and the museum of alcoholic miniatures.
Moreover, you may be offered a deep-sea fishing on a yacht. And after that you will be taken to a fishing village where you will be able to prepare delicious dishes from your fare. In addition, you can take part in catching the king crab (it can reach up to 2 meters), and then try the most delicious lunch from the fresh take on the shore of the fjord.
In 2014, the Norwegian restaurants were awarded by six ‘Michelin stars’, including Maaemo – an innovative restaurant in Oslo – which has now two stars (the first was awarded in 2013).