A culinary journey in Norway
Norway's 2650 kilometre coastline, with cold, clean water, makes Norway one of the world's biggest exporters of fish. Fish grow more slowly in cold water and their flesh develops a firmer structure with more flavour than fish in warmer waters: Salmon, catfish, monkfish, trout, halibut, turbot and mackerel are examples of wonderful eating experiences, and in summer you absolutely must try fresh Norwegian prawns. Norwegians love to buy their prawns directly from the trawlers coming into harbor with the day's catch and to devour them there and then, sitting on the pier and dangling their legs. Whale meat has always been an important part of the Norwegian diet. Here you have a great chance to try something special.
In northern Norway cod has been hung to dry in the wind for over 1,000 years, and Norwegians have been exporting dried fish to the rest of Europe for just as long. Dried fish should be beaten with a wooden mallet, soaked in water and taken with mustard or butter, and is counted as a Norwegian speciality.
A krumkake is a thin, crisp cone-shaped cookie - actually more like a thin crêpe. Krumkake literally means "crumble cookie" and their delicate texture makes them especially delicious. This Norwegian specialty is made for festive occasions, particularly Christmas. Krumkake batter is made up largely of sugar, butter, flour, eggs and whipping cream.
Lutefisk is made by mixing lye of potash in the water the dried fish is soaked in. This makes the fish particularly soft and full of flavour. Lutefisk is served, among other things, with pease pudding, new potatoes, bacon, mustard and goats cheese.
Lefse is a type of potato flatbread. Lefse batter is prepared using mashed (or riced) potatoes, flour, shortening, and sometimes cream. The dough is formed into small balls and then rolled flat. These pieces of batter are fried on the stove until they start to bubble and turn brown. When the lefse is ready, it is buttered, sprinkled with sugar and/or cinnamon, rolled up and enjoyed. Some people also use lefse like a tortilla, filling it with various kinds of meat, fruits, and/or vegetables.
Rømmegrøt is a kind of porridge made from sour cream. Thick soured cream is boiled on the stove for several minutes, and then flour is added. The mixture is again allowed to boil while it is stirred vigorously so that the butterfat separates and can be removed.
Once the butterfat has been removed and set aside, more flour is added along with scalded milk. Salt and sugar may be added as well, and the porridge is cooked for another five to ten minutes. The rømmegrøt is then ready to be eaten, and is served warm with the butterfat, cinnamon, and sugar.
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