Smoked Salmon or RÃƒÂ¸kt Laks
Salmon is a staple food when it comes to the Norwegian diet, with the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s long coastline and many fjords producing ample amounts of fish. Due to the colder temperatures, the fish grow over a longer period of time, allowing them to develop a deeper and richer flavor. While salmon forms the basis of many Norwegian dishes, it can also be served on its own. Served mostly in a smoked form, it is widely known as RÃƒÂ¸kt Laks. Another way of preparing salmon is the gravlaks, which literally translates as Ã¢â‚¬Ëœburied salmonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. Using a blend of salt, dill and sugar, the salmon goes through a process of being dry cured for 24 hours.
TÃƒÂ¸rrfisk, which is also known as stockfish, is typically made with cod, but sometimes consists of haddock or pollock. The method of cold air-drying is one of the oldest preservation techniques in the world, giving tÃƒÂ¸rrfiskÃ‚Â a long shelf life of up toÃ‚Â several years. TÃƒÂ¸rrfisk is also cured through a fermentation process, by which cheese, for example, is matured. Special bacteria that can survive in freezing temperatures are used to slowly mature the fish, giving it a richer flavor. TÃƒÂ¸rrfisk can also form the basis of other fish meals, such as a delicacy called lutefisk.
Meat also makes up a number of popular Norwegian delicacies, such as kjÃƒÂ¸ttboller or kjÃƒÂ¸ttkaker. These can be described as rougher version of Swedish meatballs. Differing from their Scandinavian cousins, kjÃƒÂ¸ttboller are a more loosely bound patty of beef, flavored with ginger and nutmeg before frying. These robust meatballs are usually served with either mashed or boiled potatoes before being drizzled with a cream sauce or a hearty gravy.
SituatedÃ‚Â North,Ã‚Â Norway regularly experiences long and harsh winters. Nothing warms Norwegians up more than a hearty stew, and in particular, a bowl of their favouriteÃ‚Â fÃƒÂ¥rikÃƒÂ¥l. Commonly found in more western parts of Norway, this robust mutton stew, made up from only a few ingredients, is relatively easy to prepare. Covered in water and cooked until the meat is tender, fÃƒÂ¥rikÃƒÂ¥l is conventionally served with a side of potatoes.
Those with a sweet tooth can satisfy their cravings with krumkake. Translated as Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcurved or crooked cakeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, krumkake consists of paper-thin rolls of a waffle-like pancake, which are then filled with whipped cream or any other desired filling. Krumkake can be said to be similar in style to an Italian pizzelle, being cooked in a special two-sided iron griddle. The griddles often print feature decorations onto the sides of theÃ‚Â krumkake.Ã‚Â Krumkake is available in most Norwegian bakeries, but one to try isÃ‚Â Vaaland Dampbakeri & Conditori in Stavanger, which has been making Norwegian cakeÃ‚Â for over a hundred years.
Christmas time in Norway sees the cooking of many unique and unusual delicaciesÃ‚Â includingÃ‚Â pinnekjÃƒÂ¸tt. This is a lamb-based dish, more commonly found in western and northern parts of the country. To prepare pinnekjÃƒÂ¸tt, the lamb must first of all be cured either by buyingÃ‚Â pre-cured meat, or, along with many Norwegian households, using traditional techniques with brine.Ã‚Â To cook pinnekjÃƒÂ¸tt, the meat is steamed by whilst topped with birch branches, giving the specialty its name, which literallyÃ‚Â translates asÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Ëœstick meatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. When the pinnekjÃƒÂ¸tt is fully cooked, it can be served with sausages, mashed potatoes and purÃƒÂ©ed swedes.
PÃƒÂ¸lse med Lompe
Norway also has fast-food specialties for on-the-go eating, the most common being pÃƒÂ¸lse. This popular sausage has a similar style and flavor to a hot dog or a frankfurter. An import from NorwayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s neighbor Denmark, pÃƒÂ¸lse became a favouriteÃ‚Â delicacy during the 1950s. Originally enjoyed either grilled or boiled, Western culture left its mark on this traditional food, and soon pÃƒÂ¸lse were served with bread, or in their more NorwegianÃ‚Â method, with lompe.
Another festive specialty dish is the unusual and not for the faint-hearted smalahove, made from a sheepÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s head. Originally associated with lower classes in Norwegian society, and more commonly eaten in its western parts,Ã‚Â smalahoveÃ‚Â has now become a widespread Norwegian favorite. In order to create this dish, the skin and fleece of the sheepÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s head must first of all be seared. After, the brain is removed, and the head is seasoned with salt and then air-dried. OccasionallyÃ‚Â the brain is left inside the head, beingÃ‚Â cooked along with the meat or fried and eaten separately. If the brain is removed, the salted and dried head is then boiled until cooked, and served with mashed potatoes or rutabaga.
Reindeer are unique to northern countries, and are often used in traditional Norse dishes and stews. One such stew is called finnbiff and consists of a number of flavorful ingredients mixed together to create a unique combination. First, the reindeer meat is cut into shavings which can be cooked quickly, before being browned in a pot alongside bacon and mushrooms. Next, water is added, leaving the meat and vegetables to boil and simmer which creates a rich stock of flavor. Finally, a mixture of crushed juniper berries, sour cream, thyme, milk and brown goatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cheese are added. Lokk in Oslo makes tasty varieties ofÃ‚Â finnbiff,Ã‚Â while Zupperia in Bergen specialises in a creamy rendition madeÃ‚Â with mushrooms.
Used in the cooking process of manyÃ‚Â Norwegian delicacies, and typically consumed during festive occasion and celebrations, akevitt is NorwayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s national drink. The name derives its roots from the Latin words aqua and vitae which translate as Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwater of lifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. This alcoholic beverage is made from potato and is flavored with caraway, dill and other herbs and spices. Akevitt has a rich history of popularity in Norway, with itsÃ‚Â roots beingÃ‚Â traced back to the 15th century. Variations of akevittÃ‚Â can be found throughout Scandinavia, but Norway creates its own twist on the drink by maturing the beverage in oak casks.