Eating in Norway: A whole world of flavors, in addition to delicious salmon


A few days ago I was visiting Norway and I was very interested in knowing what its gastronomy would be like, of which a priori I did not have too many references, beyond Norwegian salmon or cod. After the trip, I have a much broader vision of what it is like to eat in Norway: a whole world of flavors, in addition to delicious salmon.

I have to point out that the area where I was, the province of Finnmark located to the north of this great country, is the coldest area, the one with the most extreme climate with its long winters with perpetual night and its long summers in which it is possible to see the impressive midnight sun.

For this reason, in this area the variety of food that I had access to is different in prices and qualities to those that can be obtained in the capital Oslo or in the intermediate area of ​​the country, where the majority of greenhouses or pantries in Norway are located. . In the northernmost part of Europe, some products such as meat are very expensive, yet fish and seafood are more accessible.

The meats

The cattle found in the northern part of Norway are practically reduced to reindeer, which is why this is the most frequent variety of meat that you will find in the country. It is a tasty meat, but it dries out quickly since it does not have the usual fat of cuts of meat such as lamb, pork or veal or beef that we are more used to.

You will find reindeer in many preparations in restaurants in Norway. Whether roasted and sliced ​​as cold cuts or stewed, grilled, or roasted, there are plenty of dishes and stews with reindeer. I was even able to find it as a pizza topping, which caught my attention, although I couldn't taste it.

Lamb is another variety of meat that is commonly consumed in Norway, although you may not think that you will find what we understand by lamb, but rather a concept of a more adult lamb, almost a sheep. Despite this, the meat is tender, tasty and the dishes are reminiscent of the Arab and British stews made with this meat, since they also tend to use lambs that are older and larger than in our country.

You will also find lamb in stews and roasts of lamb meat with sauce such as Fårikål which is a lamb stew with cabbage, if you travel through Norway you can also find a cold cut of cured and salted lamb meat with the name of Fenalår and some salted, smoked and dried lamb ribs, with the name of Pinnekjøtt.

Other meats that you can find in the north of Norway, (although the prices will rise a lot and the portions will be small if you choose them) are pork or beef whose price shoots up since they have to take them there, where there is not a great demand for these meats.

Curiously, and I did not like the subject at all, but I tell you because I saw it at the dinner buffet of one of the hotels, they also offer whale meat as cold cuts, similar to round slices, roast beef or other similar ones. After overcoming certain objections I was encouraged to try it and it seemed to me to be a very strong flavor and quite dry meat, although it may also be because of the way it was cooked since I have no previous references.

Fish and shellfish

Due to its large coastal area, Norway is a fishing power and between its coasts, its rivers and fjords, there are a lot of places to catch fish and shellfish, so these foods are very abundant, they have an exceptional quality and on top they come out very Well priced, so they will undoubtedly be your choice when you visit Norway.

The king of fish is salmon. In Norway, salmon is eaten in a thousand ways. In addition to the classics of marinated salmon and smoked salmon, we find a lot of dishes with salmon, often in cold buffets, and also in hot dishes like pepper salmon, salmon with vegetables and baked salmon.

It is difficult to convey in a few lines in this post the incredible quality of this salmon, Norwegian salmon being a product that we also usually eat in Spain, but I will tell you that I have never tasted so much variety and such quality of salmon before making this trip.

Even if you know it well enough, this product will undoubtedly be one of the stars of Norwegian gastronomy when you visit this country. I suppose it is a sensation similar to that of the tourist who has tried ham in his country and comes to Spain for the first time and visits the area of ​​Jabugo in Huelva or Los Pedroches in Córdoba, for example, and tries the Iberian ham recently. cut with a knife.

Cod also requires a separate chapter. This fish, which is caught throughout the area, is used in various ways in the country. On the one hand, fresh cod, skrei cod that is usually caught in the area of Lofoten Islands, is one of the gastronomic treasures of Norway.

On the other hand, wind-dried cod are traditional throughout the north where we find numerous palisades or grids prepared to carry out this drying task. Even in private homes it is common to have some fish on the window, hanging to dry.

Cod and other fish such as pollock are dried with this technique, losing almost 80% of their water thanks to the action of the wind and the sun. This dried fish called Tørrfisk it can be eaten directly, biting off a piece and chewing it, or using it to make stews after rehydration as in the case of salted cod.

As for the seafood, I had the opportunity to try the prawns, mussels and some clams, but what I will never be able to forget is the King Crab, the King Crab, a real delicacy that should be an essential in every visit to Norway because the meat fine and white of this animal is a real delight.

In the Diario del Viajero blog I tell you about the whole experience of a King Crab Safari. There you can appreciate their size in detail, and also see how they prepare them by cooking them over a fire in the center of a store of the Lapps or Samis.

Desserts and sweets

To finish off this global vision of food in northern Norway, I just need to talk about sweets. In general, the desserts I have had during the week I visited Norway were similar to those I have had anywhere else in Europe. Among the highlights a very rich creme brulee that I tried in Tromso or the wonderful waffle with sour cream and red berry jam that I enjoyed waiting for midnight in North Cape.

Soon I will publish an entry about the best restaurants in the area to have a complete vision of Norwegian cuisine, which as you can see, goes beyond the classic Norwegian salmon, skrei cod or the delicious king crab or King Crab. I hope this information is useful for you if this year you decide to discover another form of tourism in northern Europe.

More information | Eating in Norway
Directly to the Palate | Sautéed mushrooms and salmon with fake black garlic aioli. Light recipe
Directly to the Palate | Norwegian salmon meatballs in dill sauce. Light recipe

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