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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