When it comes to Norwegian cuisine, seafood definitely plays a significant role. While the vegetable- and fruit sections of the supermarkets are rather small and overpriced, the seafood section on the other hand is abundant and relatively cheap.
Norway is a major player in the fishing industry. We found ourselves eating seafood pretty much every day. Norwegian salmon, which is world renowned, seemed cheap here by comparison, probably because it didn’t have to travel too far. Whether it is smoked (thin fillet cured with cold smoke, usually served on top of rye bread with cream cheese) or simply grilled, Norwegian salmon tastes delicious and flavorful.
A Norwegian favorite, Mills Kaviar tubes contain caviar that is usually put on crisp bread that is layered with a sliced, boiled egg. The caviar has quite a salty and fishy taste, but overall does not taste as strange as it looks.
At twenty dollars apiece, whale seemed like an expensive gamble to try at the fish market in Bergen, so we decided to wait to see whether we could buy it somewhere and cook it ourselves. Some supermarkets sell a frozen version of the mink whale, however we discovered that the Horsgaard & Co fish store in Molde sold fresh pieces. We bought a small two-dollar piece and prepared it in the same way as steak. The dark meat turns into a steak-looking, steak-tasting piece of meat that has just a hint of fishiness to it. It’s not as tender as beef and we wouldn’t necessarily order whale in a restaurant, but it was worth trying for just two dollars.
Similar to whale meat, reindeer will cost you between 20–30$. As it was a special occasion, we decided to treat ourselves to a reindeer steak and were quite surprised. It tasted very much like beef and was quite delicious. We definitely recommend trying this local specialty. We also found it to be readily available in Helsinki in various forms, including hot dogs or meatballs.
As cheese enthusiast we didn’t think that it would be possible to find a cheese that we strongly disliked. Well… it happened. The brown cheese has the strangest taste we have ever encountered. When you eat it, it feels like you’re eating cheese, but then you get this sweet taste from the caramelization that’s just too much. This cheese makes eating a spoonful of plain vegemite more appealing. Sorry Norway!
Softis are everywhere! Every corner store, bus terminal, tourist centers, it’s almost impossible not to try one. They are basically a soft-serve ice cream, but quite a nice treat on a hot summer day. You can choose different toppings, but the ones that we noticed the most and also liked the most were the powdered cacao and the local kraken, which are a sweet peanut crumbled brittle.
Norwegian waffles make for a quite delicious breakfast. Found almost everywhere, these flower-shaped waffles folded in half taste similar to a Belgian waffle.
Smash is a popular snack in Norway consisting of tornado-looking treats that taste both salty and sweet due to their chocolate cover. While we quite enjoyed them, you do get to a point where you just can’t eat them anymore.
As if a hot dog wasn’t bad enough for you, Norwegians like to wrap them up with a bunch or crispy bacon. These hot dogs with bacon on the go are quite popular and extremely delicious. There is also a variety that comes with a taco instead of the hot dog bun, which is equally popular.
Fishcakes are, as the name implies, ground fish that are turned into a patty. It has a very smooth texture and tastes as if you’re eating a pancake that has a slight fish taste to it, a bit strange but worth a try.
Extremely delicious, the Verdens Beste is almost always served with a Norwegian flag on top of it. It is a nut-based cake that comes with creamy topping.
Kjøttkaker is Norway’s style of meatball. Instead of being round, these Norwegian treats are a bit oddly shaped, however quite tasty and can be enjoyed either hot or cold. They are often available at the salad bar inside supermarkets, so you can mix them in with your salad.
We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.Read Mark & Herta’s full story.