What do you eat in Norway? typical dishes, tips and curiosities about Norwegian cuisine

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Norway offers a wide choice of places and restaurants to eat, although the prices are quite high compared to the Italian average. The food is very good as well based on local materials such as fish (cod and salmon in primis) cooked in the oven, grilled or according to traditional recipes, or a reindeer and whale meat, most often cooked in stews, while moose meat is mainly used for hamburgers. On the other hand, there are few vegetables that are almost always imported, apart from potatoes.

But what are the traditional recipes that you can find on the menus or among the specialties of the markets? Let's find out together what you eat in Norway: typical dishes, advice and curiosities about Norwegian cuisine.


  1. 10 Typical Norwegian dishes
  2. Typical sweets from Norway
  3. Drinks and liqueurs: what do you drink in Norway
  4. Tips and trivia: where to eat and what to avoid
  5. User questions and comments

10 Typical Norwegian dishes

1 - Farikal

Considered one of the Norwegian national dishes, among the most loved. It is a second dish rich in nutrients and energy.

Farikal is indeed one lamb or mutton stew with bone with cabbage and peppercorns that is cooked with a little wheat flour for several hours. It is usually served with potatoes.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 23,00
  • Main ingredients: lamb or mutton, cabbage, pepper

2 - Syltelabb

Another traditional dish, especially on the tables during the Christmas period as an appetizer, is the Syltelabb, based on boiled and salted pork trotters which is accompanied by beetroot, mustard and fresh bread or with bread and focaccia.

It should be eaten strictly with your hands and it must be served with traditional Norwegian Juleol or with spirits and beer as it is a very salty food.

  • Recommended to: lunch
  • Average cost: € 20,00
  • Main ingredients: pig's trotters

3 - Pinnekiott

Characteristic and popular dish of western and northern areas from Norway, served mainly during the holidays, pinnekiott is based on salted and dried lamb chops and in some cases smoked or steamed on birch branches.

Usually the dish comes accompanied by sauces where to dip the ribs, rutabaga purée and potatoes.

  • Recommended to: lunch
  • Average cost: € 18,00
  • Main ingredients: lamb chops, sauces

4 - Skrei Molje

Skrei Molje is a dish from long Norwegian tradition which was once eaten by the inhabitants of the coast. It is about a broth which is prepared by cooking all parts of the cod, from the head, to the tail, to the pulp, entrails and eggs included. It is served with slices of bread and onions.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 10,00
  • Main ingredients: cod, water, onion

5 - Gravlaks

In Norwegian cuisine cod and salmon are considered i staple fish of many dishes.

The Gravlaks is one exquisite specialty prepared by cutting the salmon into thin slices and marinating it in dill, sugar and salt.

Accompanied by slices of black bread and Scandinavian mustard it is considered a appetizer or single dish depending on the portion.

  • Recommended to: lunch, dinner, snack
  • Average cost: € 18,00
  • Main ingredients: marinated salmon, dill, sugar

6 - Raspeball

Typical food served in winter to warm up from the harsh temperatures, Raspeballs, also called Komle, Kompe or Klubb, are potato dumplings sometimes filled with lamb meat or sausages depending on the area.

Tradition has it that they are served on Thursdays, for lunch or dinner, and on this day of the week in many places they represent the dish of the day. Seasonings vary by region and can include pork, bacon, sausage, melted butter, mashed potatoes, or turnips.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 14,00
  • Main ingredients: potatoes, flour, eggs, meat

7 - Lutefisk

Traditional dish from Norway, and other Scandinavian countries, a base of stockfish or cod which is prepared in the oven after being left to soak in water for 5-6 days.

Once served during the holiday season, today it is easy to find it on the menus of restaurants in any time of the year, accompanied by potatoes, bacon, sweet peas and mustard.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 19,00
  • Main ingredients: stockfish

8 - Brown Cheese

Also called brunost, Brown cheese is a sweet and salty brown cheese loved a lot by Norwegians who consume it at any time of the day.

Based on goat's milk and caramelized whey that gives a sweet and sour taste at the same time, it is enjoyed on toast with blueberry jam or on waffles, but in many restaurants it goes with baked salmon.

  • Recommended to: breakfast, snack
  • Average cost: € 5,00 per hectogram
  • Main ingredients: goat rennet and caramelized whey.

9 - Smalahove

An original traditional dish of western Norway which is consumed mainly at Christmas and is reserved only for the most curious and courageous.

It is a recipe made from sheep's head which is first salted, smoked and dried and then boiled or stewed before being served with potatoes or other vegetables. Once considered a poor dish so as not to waste any part of the animal, today it is considered a real delicacy.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 30,00
  • Main ingredients: smoked sheep's head

10 - Rakfisk

Another typical Norwegian fish it is trout, the basic ingredient of Rakfisk, a dish with ancient origins that was consumed by fishermen.

In this specialty the salted trout must be fermented for two or three months and served raw accompanied by bread, onion, eggs and mashed potatoes.

The smell and taste are quite intense therefore it is not a dish loved by everyone.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: € 20,00
  • Main ingredients: raw fermented salted trout

Typical sweets from Norway

As in other Nordic countries, even in Norway, the culinary tradition requires the presence of some sweets. Some are eaten mainly served in bars and restaurants while others are often bought in bakeries to be consumed for breakfast or as a snack.

1 - Tilslorte bondepiker

A typical Norwegian spoon dessert, nice to see and eat, is the bondepiker Tilslorte made with baked apples, toast, and lots of cream.

It is usually composed inside transparent glasses and the result is a soft dessert, crunchy and really tasty.

  • Average cost: € 10,00
  • Main ingredients: apples, bread, cream

2 - Norwegian waffels

Very different from the Belgian namesakes, Norwegian waffles are similar to pancakes but they have a romantic heart-flower shape.

Very soft and flexible usually yes they fold and eat with their hands after having stuffed them with both sweet and savory sauces. Among the most used fruit jams, sour cream, ice cream, nutella, bacon, eggs or brown cheese.

  • Average cost: € 7,00
  • Main ingredients: eggs, flour, butter

3 - Skillingsbubbles

Typical Bergen dessert, born in this town in the late 1890s but known throughout Norway, the Skillingsbolle, similar to the Swedish Kanelbulle, is a brioche bun donut rather high that is sweetened with cinnamon and sugar in grains and baked in the oven.

The best you can buy at Bergen from BakerBu who churns out delicious ones and you will also understand it from the queue that forms outside the shop during tourist periods.

  • Average cost: € 3,50 each
  • Main ingredients: milk, yeast, butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon

4 - Valnott Lukket

Another dessert of the country typical of Stavanger, but today available throughout the national territory, is the Valnott Lukket, una marzipan cake stuffed with pineapple and walnuts that is covered with whipped cream in abundance.

  • Average cost: € 20,00 whole cake
  • Main ingredients: eggs, sugar, flour, cream, pineapple

5 - Rosinboller

Typical dessert consumed by Norwegians in any time of day, rosinbollers are sweet rolls that can be empty or filled with chocolate chips or raisins.

They are perfect to eat as a snack or snack, even at breakfast, while walking through the streets of the cities,

  • Average cost: € 5,00
  • Main ingredients: flour, butter, milk, yeast, sugar

Drinks and liqueurs: what do you drink in Norway

An almost national drink is the strong black coffee which is drunk in such quantities that it is not clear how the population appears calm and not at all agitated. Herbal teas and tea are also widely consumed.

Before, during or after dinner, beers are among the most sipped drinks. The most common variety is the pils lager with an alcoholic content of around 4% and known are the Ringsnes brands in the south and Mackin in the north.
But here are other typical drinks of the country:

1 - Aquavit

Il national liquor it is aquavit, or akevitt, a strong distillate made from potatoes and cumin seeds that give it a yellow color, but some distilleries add orange, coriander, anise, fennel, sugar and salt.

The preparation is left age from 3 to 5 years in barrels of 500 lt oak which were previously used to distil sherry. Among the most famous brands are Lysholm Linie, Løiten Linie, Gammel Opland and Simers Taffel.

  • Average cost: € 6,00 per glass
  • Main ingredients: potatoes, alcohol and cumin seeds

2 - Glogg

Another widely consumed drink especially in winter is glogg, Norwegian mulled wine.

It is mainly a drink based on wine, with a mix of herbs, dried raisins and almonds that is boiled and served hot. A delight during the cold Norwegian winter days.

  • Average cost: € 4,50 per glass
  • Main ingredients: wine, herbs, dried raisins and almonds

3 - Karsk

It is a drink based on coffee and liqueur much loved by Norwegians and of rather poor origins because it was consumed in rural areas of the country to warm up in winter.

It is prepared by placing on the bottom of the cup a coin, then you pour the coffee and finally the liqueur that should make the coin reappear.

  • Average cost: € 6,00 per cup
  • Main ingredients: espresso, liqueur

4 - Mead

A drink that has played an important role in several Viking celebrations, but which in winter is still eaten hot to accompany ginger biscuits.
Also nicknamed honey wine because fermented sugar comes from honey.

  • Average cost: € 6,00 per glass
  • Main ingredients: acacia honey, lemon, brewer's yeast, water, cane sugar

5 - Brennevin

Brennevin means burnt wine and it is a distilled liqueur made from potatoes and cereals, whose flavor is reminiscent of a strong brandy. Widespread in Norway and throughout Scandinavia, it has an alcohol content that varies between 30% and 38%.

  • Average cost: € 10,00 per glass
  • Main ingredients: potatoes, cereals, sugar, alcohol

Tips and trivia: where to eat and what to avoid

Norway offers one wide choice of places where to eat or drink something. Not only typical restaurants, in fact in the streets of the main cities you can find every kind and category, from Asians to those serving starred cuisine, from restaurants where you can have a full meal to cafes open for lunch and breakfast that usually serve light meals, drinks and sweets to accompany the coffee.

In the larger towns then there are markets, ideal for those who want to eat fresh fish usually open until 18:00. It should be known, in fact, that Norwegians usually eat a large breakfast, have two snacks (one in the middle of the morning and the other around 15:00) and then eat their main meal between 16:00 and 18:00.

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