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Norway's authentic cuisine

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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 Norwegian...my 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.

                2. http://www.amazon.com/Ekte-Gjetost-17...

                  igourmet.com via Amazon.com 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

                    1. Don;t forget the boiled potatoes. My maternal grandparents were from Norway (Oslo and Bergen) and my mother said that sometimes in Norway they eat potatoes 3 times a day. Lefse is made from dough with potatoes in it. We had boiled potatoes 6 nights a week at home and fried potatoes once made from all those left-over boiled ones. For company we had scalloped potatoes. Also roast beef - we had roast beef almost every Sunday, otherwise it was ham. Gjetost is wonderful; it was my favorite sandwich when I was in school (this is why the America kids made fun of my sandwiches). Another famous dish is Faarikal (sp?), lamb and cabbage. There's also fish pudding with shrimp sauce (excellent).

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: RevImmigrant

                        I think the constant potatoes are more a Northern European thing than specifically Norwegian (I've lived in Denmark and the Netherlands, and in both places potatoes are ubiquitous). In Norway I've been surprised at the popularity of macaroni, which seems to be viewed as the alternative starch and is used in soups and as a side dish.

                        I've just remembered fiskekabaret. This is an aspic ring with fish and prawns suspended in it. Often eaten with a creamy sauce. If you like aspic (I don't) then I suppose it's probably quite nice. Also, cod tongues. I've never had them, but in Norway they're considered something of a delicacy. Keeping on the cod theme, a popular sandwich topping (pålegg) in all Scandinavian countries, including Norway, is fish roe that comes in tube.

                        1. re: accecil

                          My grandparents immigrated in 1890 so food tastes have probably changed since then. Also foods are now available, due to modern transportation and refrigeration, that were not available in some areas in those days. In 1890 they had to eat pretty much what was available in the local area. As an example of transportation, to get from Norway to Texas in 1890, first they had to go to one of the German ports and embark on a transatlantic ship to NY, then transfer to a different ship from NY to Texas (or go overland by train). My German immigrant paternal great-grandparents also had to sail first to NY and then to TX. You can see that with such transportation they didn't ship food all around the world like we do now. My mother said since potatoes grow in poor soil and so much of the soil in Norway is rocky, poor soil, potatoes grow easily there and thus became a dietary staple, at least in the 1800s.

                        2. re: RevImmigrant

                          This is my first posting, so please excuse me if I make any faux pas! Some friends grow new potatoes in the north of Norway and they are the most delicious I have ever tasted. They say that, like the berries, the lengthy exposure to sun rather than heat gives them this amazing density of flavour. In the UK if new potatoes get frosted, that's it - they perish, so I am always rather puzzled about this.

                          1. re: RevImmigrant

                            On the topic of boiled potatoes, my dad told me about when pasta and pizza were new and novel to Norwegians, his parents used to serve spaghetti with a side of boiled potatoes, and the same for pizza. Shows just how ingrained the expectation of "potatoes with everything" was....

                            1. re: RevImmigrant

                              You're certainly right about the potatoes. Twice a day from many visits to my DSD who's lived in Stavanger for more than 30 years and our two Viking grandkids. However, the idea of potatoes for breakfast just blew them away when I fixed a big American-style breakfast one visit when we had...mmm, lessee...5 Norwegians plus my stepdaughter some years ago. The teenagers were utterly shocked, in particular, or else the grownups were a little more tactful.

                              The rice dish rommegrod is sometimes made with just whole milk, and is basically just a rice pudding.

                              And the grandkids' soccer/football games had a stand where the parents made money by serving waffles, which are snacky food rather than breakfast food. (Love those herring breakfasts, though.)

                              One more thing - the salmonburgers that McD's serve are called McLaks, laks being the Norwegian word for salmon, and of course reminds us of lox.

                            2. Also risgrot (or risengrynsgrot) and blotkaker! nam nam :)

                              1. Every year when we went back to Norway on vacation, my grandfather would make the same "Welcome Back" dinner. Broiled whole cod, boiled potatoes, boiled carrots, boiled cabbage, boiled cauliflowers, served with drawn butter, flat bread and some dill to garnish. Not a clove of garlic or a onion in sight, and rice took a special trip to Oslo to the only Chinese market in the country at that time. That was the 70's. Last year when I went home, my welcome back dinner was Vietnamese takeout. How times have changed.

                                1. i just had an operation on my left shoulder and can only type w/ rt. hand, sllowwly.

                                  a few more

                                  pan fried cod tongues and cheeks
                                  fried cod roe
                                  lapskaus a stew
                                  forekol lamb and cabbage
                                  fore spekemat a salted, air dried leg of lamb delicious
                                  ris grut rice porridge
                                  blot kake
                                  open faced hamburger w/ fried egg on top
                                  french toast for supper
                                  rekker smorbrod shrimp sandwich yum
                                  and.......lungemost ground lung
                                  ha det godt

                                  1. I am late to this posting, but just in case someone looks at it again...
                                    My brother remembers a shrimp salad he had in a Bergen cafe near the Coastal Steamer dock as the best he has ever eaten. I don't remember what we ate that day. It was in 1986.
                                    There are many mentions of shrimp salad in this list. Ca n someone tel me how shrimp salad is made in Norway?

                                    1. I would love to take journey up peninsula Scandinavia.
                                      As from there came one half of my chromosomes.

                                      For sure, down south in Oslo
                                      beauties on menus abound.

                                      But yet tug is upward
                                      to place of Laplanders
                                      and communal relations with Caribou.

                                      So few on the planet that keep to traditions
                                      And now they use Jeeps and four-wheeled ATV's
                                      to manage their reign over reindeer.
                                      Yet they live in pulse of the driving of herd.

                                      So in search of True Norskie let's clap to the kettle
                                      that contains softened veggies and meat as a stew.
                                      And also the grill set over fire
                                      which affords flamed caribou steak.

                                      It is not just a matter of quest of genetics
                                      But also tipped hat in simple respect.