The Norwegian cuisine is one of the most bizarre in the world. Some find it interesting, some find it tantalizing, while others might find it weird or even preposterous. History says, this all came through the hands of the Vikings, thousands of years ago, and is now directly connected to Norway’s habits and customs. Whichever way, here is a list of gourmet dishes all the way from Norway, to get you acquainted with just a few of the bizarre stuff mentioned above.
1. Lefse – Traditional Flatbreads for Christmas & Holidays
What is it: This simple flatbread dish is traditionally made during holidays like Xmas, and New Year, or celebrations like wedding, but the procedure or ingredients might slightly vary in modern times. Initially, a batter is made, from which these bread rolls are fried in large griddles.
What does it taste like: The batter made from flour, potatoes, butter, and milk or cream is best enjoyed with a traditional side dish.
2. Kumla – Tender Potato Dumplings
What is it: Known by other names like Krub, Klubb or Klub, in this dish grated potatoes are combined well with other ingredients. For meat lovers, chopped ham is used, while for the vegetarian or vegan version, it can be replaced with any other customized substitute.
What does it taste like: The dish is easy to digest since it is much less spicy or oily. The tender bite of these dumplings is sure to win your mind with the flavors of Norway.
3. Lutefisk – Gelatinous Fish Dish
What is it: Also called lutfisk (in Swedish), this is a famous but unusual dish with somewhat a gelatinous texture, and is made from aged stockfish (or dried and salted whitefish and lye).
What does it taste like: The intricate cooking process is very traditional, and that is exactly what renders that appealing taste to this fish dish.
4. Whale Steak – Famous Junk-Food Dish from Whale Meat
What is it: This is nothing but a steak dish made from whale meat (not the endangered species). While this meat is available almost in all the corners of the country, most people enjoy the meat only occasionally (even as flight or cruise food), though it is not at all a taboo in Norway, and was a part of the staple diet even in the 19th century.
What does it taste like: The meat is a bit crunchy to spongy, and releases a combined aroma of the traditional herbs and spices used to steak it.
5. Pickled Herring – Ancient Viking-style Pickle
What is it: This is again one of the common Nordic delicacies and is made in many homes and restaurants, especially because the recipe is simple. The brined herring is treated with lots of vinegar and salt as preservatives, so as to keep it from getting rotten.
What does it taste like: The addition of onions, sugar and assorted spices gives it a unique taste – tangy, sweet and sour, all at the same time.
6. Krumkake – Common Sweet Dessert Dish
What is it: Literally translates to ‘bent cake’, this is a common dessert cookie from Norway, made of butter, eggs, sugar, flour, and cream. It is often stuffed with chocolate, cream, jam, etc. However, you can also order the vegan versions at restaurants, substituting egg, butter, and cream with assorted ingredients.
What does it taste like: The flavors of fresh cream and eggs blend perfectly well to give this cookie a very savory taste, ideal after a good lunch or dinner.
7. Fårikål – National Dish of Norway
What is it: Interestingly, this dish is typically cooked during autumn and is made of mutton or lamb, whole black pepper, cabbage, little wheat flour to make the gravy thick, and traditionally, potatoes in their jackets. It is then slow cooked for a few hours.
What does it taste like: The dish is not too hot or spicy, and has a very subtle taste. The slow-cooking process, along with the spices, helps the aromas to release perfectly and blend well with the mutton pieces and potatoes.
If you plan a visit to the country, you can begin tasting these sensational items right from your journey, because some are famous as ‘cruise foods’, and even as ‘sky foods’, quite popular in the airlines!