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Apr 16, 2008 12:48 PM

Norway's authentic cuisine

Hi, I'm looking for more additions to my best of Norway cuisine list. Thanks for any additions.

reindeer w/ cranberry, lingonberry jam
geitost "goat cheese"
fiskeboller (fish balls, and some)
Rumgraut is a sour-cream porridge covered with melted butter, brown
sugar, and cinnamon. If they're in season, try the good-tasting,
amber-colored muiter (cloudberries). An additional treat, well made in
Norway, is a pancake accompanied by lingonberries
koldtbord (a kind of breakfast)
Singoalla biscuts

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  1. Hmmm. Ok, my boyfriend is Norwegian and we recently moved to Oslo from London, so let's see what else I can come up with:

    kjøttkaker with brown sauce
    poached cod with egg butter (hard cooked egg mashed up with a huge amount of melted butter)
    hotdog with lompe (especially when it has shrimp salad on it)
    tørfisk - this may be a specifically northern Norwegian thing; dried fish, eaten as a snack, like a protein packed, maritime potato crisp
    waffles with jam
    flatbrød (like Kavli, for example)
    får i kål - lamb cooked with cabbage
    pinnekjøtt - dried lambs ribs steamed with birch twigs (very Christmasy)
    mashed swead (kohlrabi in Norwegian)
    kransekake, and marzipan more generally
    Grandiosa frozen pizza
    Norwegians seem to universally love tacos
    Freeze-dried food (ie. tomato soup with macaroni) is very Norwegian - Toro brand in particular is popular.

    cloudberries are called 'multer' - never heard 'muiter' before
    Rømmegrød is the sour cream porridge. Maybe you know it in a different dialect.
    Salmon burgers? I don't think I've seen a salmon burger in Norway. Salmon is often poached and then eaten cold with potato salad and cucumber salad. Sometimes it's also eaten with bernaise sauce (Toro, from a packet) and boiled potatoes.

    Hope this is useful. If I think of more I'll add to the list.

    2 Replies
    1. re: accecil

      Right, so it turns out I'm the boyfriend in question, and I've been marshalled into providing an even more definite list - hehe! :-)

      My GF has most of my personal preferences listed (surprise!), but I'll add a few choice staples.

      First, a few pedantic corrections: swede (kålrabi), rømmegrøt. And you DO get salmon cakes in Norway - especially now that the international currencies are suffering in relation to the Norwegian Kroner - and we have to eat our own dog food, as it were.

      Bacalao: Stock fish (usually dried cod). The Norwegian style is a stew with tomatoes, potatoes, vegetables, chilies and has a slightly salty, metallic taste to it. I often wonder what the metallic taste is about - I only ever taste it otherwise when people use a low-sodium table salt called LO-SALT, which contains a lot of magnesium. I abhor it in all other dishes but this one. The Portuguese variants of this dish are countless, but this is how most Norwegians prefer it from the original source of the raw material.

      Lutefisk: Dried cod soaked in lye or caustic soda.
      This is rehydrated for several days and then poached or baked in the oven. Northern Norwegians (can you tell I'm one yet?) prefer to use ample amounts of salt so as to draw extra moisture out of the fish, which makes it more flaky. Otherwise, the lye curing process with result in a gelatinous texture.

      Dried, smoked sheeps head. The cheeks are good.

      Whale meat:
      Yes, and surprisingly a lot like beef if not overcooked. And yes, my grandfather killed whales. With a knife in the shallows of a Faroe Island bay.

      Rotten fish. Not like Gravlaks (or Gravlax, as some people call it) - this is proper disgusting stuff. Think Inuits and rotten whalrus. Look both up. I don't touch the stuff.

      Here's an idea of a typical Norwegian meal day:

      Breakfast: Simple open-faced sandwiches with regular hard cheese, brown cheese, salami, shrimp salad, liver paté, spread cheese.

      Lunch: Either more of the above or a light dinner.

      Dinner: Meat or fish with potatoes or rice and steamed vegetables.

      All this is usually pretty dry. Occasionally, sour cream or rich sauces like traditional gravy (dark and especially savoury), bernaise and hollandaise.

      Salads are best served boring. Iceberg lettuce with pink tomatoes and anemic cucumber.

      Don't get me started about the day broccoli arrived in Norway. I remember it well.

      1. re: smilespray2

        I'm always amazed by the similarities between cuisines of different countries. I am from Newfoundland, where Cloudberries (we call them Bakeapples), Lingonberries (we call them Partridgeberries) and salt cod are ever present. Bakeapples with their price, are like gold back home (and are a personal favorite of mine) The egg butter referenced, is probably fairly similar to the drawn butter or egg sauces we have back home as well. Except we usually have those with salmon.

        Then again, we are home to this place !

    2. Don't forget pickled cod/salmon.
      salmon pate.
      I personally love the pickled salmon, but don't really care for the salmon pate.

      1. I have 2 questions for those who have tried it: What does geitost taste like? I've seen it at Whole Foods, under the label "Ski Queen". It's not cheap, and want to know if it's worth getting. I'm really intrigued by it, and what I saw on "New Scandinavian Cooking" tv programme.

        Rommegrod: Is it as fattening as all my recipies say? I mean, pure heavy cream, cooked down to a porridge sounds wonderfully delicious, but really fattenning.

        I'm eager to try them both! TIA

        6 Replies
        1. re: Honeychan

          Gjetost tastes like a mixture of caramel and semi-soft cheese.

          1. re: Honeychan

            My mom's brother refers to Gjetost as "peanut butter cheese" in color and flavor. It's nice on good bread, toasted with butter and a slice of the cheese for breakfast with a cup of tea.

            1. re: geg5150

              Also good on toast with raspberry jam underneath. Mind you, many people *hate* it if they haven't grown up with it. But I think as soon as you get over the ick factor of it being brown one will at least be open to it!

              1. re: geg5150

                Wow, that sounds fantastic!
                This is a pretty cool cookbook, FYI. Okay, I've never actually cooked from it, but I enjoy leafing through it from time to time.


              2. re: Honeychan

                geitost is awesome, and actually lower in milkfat (35%) vs cheddar (50% and up), due to the use of whey that is boiled down. The extra lactose accounts for the sweetness.

                Here's the site for Ski Queen - the only distributor in my area.:


                1. re: Honeychan

                  Rømmegrøt is SOOO good, but unfortunately not exactly health food.

                  5 dl full fat sour cream
                  2 dl flour
                  5 dl milk
                  1 ts salt

                  1.Boil the sour cream for 5 mins.

                  2. Add the flour and mix well

                  3. Heat at low heat until the butter starts to come out (separates from the full fat sour cream)

                  4. Add the milk gradually, and heat until it thickens - should be like a very smooth porridge.

                  Serve with sugar, cinnamon and (yes) more butter.

                  It's VERY important to use "fat" sour cream in the recipe - the one we use in Norway is 35% fat, ("diet" sour cream is still 20% fat) and when I lived in Canada I dont think they even had sour cream that was that unhealthy... But this is worth the calories!

                  Traditionally it was served as a celebration meal, with dried meats and flatbread as a side.


         via offers a nice selection.

                  1. Lefse.. my Norwegian stepdaddy made this delicious flat bread with leftover mashed spuds and flour.

                    Gjetost .. Dad used to grate gjetost into his coffee