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Thread: Norwegian Delicacies Foreigners Find Hard To Stomach

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    Norwegian Delicacies Foreigners Find Hard To Stomach



    Voted the national dish of Norway, Fårikål is a simple stew of boiled mutton and cabbage flavoured with whole peppercorns. There's nothing really wrong with it, but most foreigners struggle to see what the fuss is about.



    The first thing that strikes foreigners about Lutefisk, a lye-preserved cod dish, is it's eye-watering stench, after which the actual taste comes as something of a relief, especially when offset by the traditional honey, peas and mustard.



    It's something of a conundrum as to why Scandinavia's richest country serves the very worst quality of sausage. "There's some cheap and nasty pølse out there," warns Oslo-based Irishman David Walshe.



    Fiskboller -- little balls of ground-up fish and potato flour -- almost invariably come out of a can, after which they are then served with a bechamel or even curry sauce. "Fiskeboller are disgusting," says Isa Ross. "My first day here, I thought it was cheese and ate one... puaggghh."



    Lutefisk's more challenging cousin, Rakfisk, is normally made from trout, which is fermented for months, sometimes even a year, then eaten raw with sour cream and flat bread. Unlike surströmming, the similarly stinky Swedish version, Norwegians eat it indoors.



    Western Norway is one of the few places in Europe that still relishes eating whole sheep's heads. To make Smalahove, first the skin and fleece is torched, then it's dried, smoked and finally boiled. "If I can't look at it, nevermind eat it, then it's the winner," says Belfast-born Oslo resident David Walshe.



    Hvalkjøtt. Whale meat, with it's steak-like flavour and consistency, generally goes down well with foreigners, especially carnivorous ones. What puts people off is the questionable morality of the whole thing.



    Smørgrøt. This porridge, made with butter, sour cream and wheat flour, is too stodgy for some foreigners.



    Boiled, salt-cured pig's trotters, called Syltelabb, are traditionally served at Christmas, which means that if you hook up with a Norwegian, you may one day have to eat one.



    Norwegian brown cheese, brunost. is technically not cheese at all, as it's made from whey and not curds. Most foreigners find it sickly sweet, flavourless, and cloying to the tongue.



    Mølje is a favourite in Norway during the winter months. But the dish of fish pieces served in a broth of cod's roe and cod's liver is certainly not for everyone.



    Seagull's eggs, måsegg, are only really eaten in the North of Norway, where they are traditionally served hard-boiled with beer. They're more than twice the size of chicken's eggs and have a milder, though slightly fishy, flavour. "So incredibly yuck!" says Jane Thompson.



    A dish of ram's testicles, called Væraballer, is traditionally served with sour cream as a starter before smalahove, presumably to make sheep's head seem like a relatively normal thing to eat. Thankfully, a rarity.



    The unleavened barley bread called Flatbrød has been a Norwegian staple since the vikings. "It could be the side of a cereal box. Half the time I check both sides to see if theres a cornflakes picture on the other side," says David Walshe.



    Salt liquorice is an obsession Norwegians share with all of their Nordic cousins. With the flavour coming from the chemical Ammonium chloride, food additive E150, it's far from organic. It's "a horrible experience," according to David Walshe.



    Translating as "old cheese", remarkably Gamalost was once a staple of the Norwegian diet. It is a very low-fat cheese, left to mature for a very long time. "I don't think I remember tasting anything quite as vile as that," says Norwegian-Scot David McArthur.
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    Five Odd Norwegian Delicacies You Might Think Twice About Trying

    Nothing brings people together like a good dinner and if a traditional Norwegian meal doesn’t kill you, it might just make you a little bit happier.

    After Norway came top of the World Happiness Report 2017, Norwegian consumer magazine Forbrukerliv got to wondering about who the Norwegians really are.

    One thing that definitely sets the Norwegians apart is their diet, says Forbrukerliv, which has created a top five list of delicacies that it says might be one of the reasons behind Norwegian happiness.

    Most of the dishes date back to age of the Vikings and will probably be considered a little bizarre to people outside Norway - you be the judge.

    But if you need a happiness boost, then perhaps it is time to try five traditional (and rather strange) dishes that the people of the world’s happiest country enjoy.

    1. Lutefisk

    According to an old tale, half of the Norwegians who immigrated to America left Norway in hope of escaping the Lutefisk, the other half left to share the recipe.

    Lutefisk is a dried cod that has been soaked in a lye solution for several days in order to rehydrate the fish, which is left with a very distinct odour.

    After soaking, the cod is rinsed and afterwards it is baked or boiled and then served with salt, pepper and butter. In many homes, the Lutefisk is the Norwegian equivalent of a Christmas Turkey – only with a slightly different aroma.

    2. Syltelabb

    Syltelabb is a traditional Norwegian dish and has been considered a delicacy since the first half of the 1900s. Back then the dish was typically served on Sundays and at Christmas time. Today, the delicacy is mainly eaten around Christmas.

    The dish consists of boiled, salted and cured pig’s trotter and is traditionally served with beet-root, mustard and fresh bread. Syltelabb is very salty and is therefore often served with at Christmas ale or a strong spirit called aquavit to tone down the saltiness (or the taste).

    3. Smalahove

    Smalahove is another traditional Norwegian dish that is usually eaten around Christmas and consists of… a sheep’s head.

    The first step in preparing the dish is to remove the brain of the sheep and then torch the fleece and skin. Afterwards, the head is salted and dried and then boiled for 3 hours. After boiling, the head is ready to be served with mashed potatoes and turnips.

    In some regions, the brain is left inside the skull while being prepared. After cooking, the brain is then scooped out and eaten with a spoon…

    The origins of this, to some, rather bizarre dish are still largely unknown. However, in earlier days the wealthier part of the Norwegian population enjoyed the fine parts of the sheep, while the not so rich were left with the not so fine pieces of meat – including the head.

    In order to make it more edible, the head was prepared in various ways with whatever was available and somewhere along the way it turned into Smalahove as we know it today.

    Today, Smalahove is no longer considered a poor man’s dish, but rather a delicacy.

    4. Værballer

    Ram’s testicles… Do you prefer them boiled or fried? Værballer is yet another dish that might make you think twice about tasting local specialities in Norway.

    Even though it is a traditional Norwegian dish that goes back many years, Værballer is today mainly enjoyed only by the most dedicated food enthusiasts or as an aperitif to whet the appetite…

    5. Elgtunge

    In its traditional form, Norwegian cuisine is largely based on ingredients readily available in nature, which includes elk.

    Throughout history, elk has been considered a great delicacy and a highly appreciated food source in Norway. The Norwegians love to eat elk and all parts of it – almost.

    A very treasured part of the elk is the tongue, which Norwegians particularly like fried or boiled and with a bit of blueberry or parsley sauce. Another tasty part is the moose heart, which is considered a true delicacy when it has been smoked.
    https://www.thelocal.no/20170420/fiv...e-about-trying

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    Syltelabb is great!

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    I ate smalahove once, I had it shipped to me in the mail by a farmer out in the western part of Norway. I had to pick it up as soon as it reached the mail office.
    It was preserved well, and was good to try, but I am not that eager to eat it again. Pinnekjøtt tastes similar and is much better.


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    Haven't had værballer or elgtunge. Tongue of oxen is tasty.

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