Norwegians shun kitchen for prepacked Christmas

Norwegian culinary skills at Christmas could take a back seat as more revelers choose to get their seasonal food from a box, local media reported on Friday.

Norwegians shun kitchen for prepacked Christmas
Why bother trying this at home? Ribbe served with red cabbage salad. File: AnneCN/Flickr
Making the fad Norwegian Christmas sausage look appetizing is a hard task even for the most skilled homemaker, but that hasn't stopped food producers Fjordland from adorning its website with a picture of a pre-cooked version of the greyish fare.
Surely no Christmas celebration would be complete without pork mixed with a modern addition of skimmed-milk powder and a dose of preservatives?
While Norwegian traditionalists may be balking at the advent of pre-packed Christmas food and the additives they bring to the dinner table, the producers nonetheless expect to triple its sales this festive season. About one in fifteen Norwegians will open not only Christmas presents but a box for dinner this year, according to estimates released Friday by the food producers.
“We sold around 100,000 meals the first years, we estimate this will be 300,000 this year,” company spokesman Knud Einar Søyland told the Nationen newspaper.
The company's Facebook page, meanwhile, sports a picture of picturesquely chirpy Christmas elves giving the thumbs-up to a bowl of porridge. The company said it sold a third of its annual porridge production in the run-up to Christmas, and that the festive season saw an approximate increase of overall sales by 40 percent.
The food producers have even made a crack at ribbe – the traditional boneless rack of ribs with crackling served at Christmas. 

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Where are Norway’s Michelin star restaurants?

Norway is home to four new Michelin-starred restaurants following the recent publication of the Nordic Countries Guide for 2022. These are all the Norwegian restaurants to receive a star in the Michelin Guide. 

Where are Norway’s Michelin star restaurants?

Four new Norwegian restaurants received Michelin stars when the Nordic Countries Guide for 2022 was published this week. 

Scandinavia’s cooking elite gathered in Stavanger on Monday to award this year’s stars and individual honours for chefs in the Nordics. 

Three of the new stars awarded were given to restaurants in Oslo, while the other star was given to an eatery in Bergen, taking the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the city on Norway’s west coast to two. 

One of the newcomers, Hot Shop, named after the former sex shop the building used to house, is located on Københavngata street in east Oslo. The canteen-style bistro serves tasting menus based on seasonal, local ingredients, which the Michelin Guide describes as “elegant, vibrant and technically adept, with delicate touches and real depth of flavour”. 

Schlägergården in Lilleaker, on the eastern outskirts of Oslo, was also awarded its first star. However, it was the fourth time restaurant manager Bjørn Svensson had received a star for one of his restaurants. The restaurant is in a converted 18th-century farmhouse with a set menu consisting of local produce, some foraged, grown, or preserved by the eatery’s staff. 

Michelin describes the food there as “pure, expertly crafted dishes which have bold, emotive flavours”.

Located right on the border of Grünerløkka and St. Hanshaugen in central Oslo is Hyde, the third restaurant in the capital to receive its first Michelin star this year. The guide credits the service and “laid-back, lively atmosphere” as major pulls for the restaurants.

Over on Norway’s west coast, Lysverket in Bergen was awarded a Michelin star. The eatery serves up creative, modern takes on Norwegian dishes accompanied by craft cocktails. The restaurant is housed in an art museum with the menus showcasing “intelligently crafted, balanced dishes”. 

The other restaurant in Oslo, boasting a glowing review from the Michelin guide, was Maaemo, which retained its three Michelin star status. The new Nordic cuisine behemoth focused on organic and biodynamic produce is located in the heart of Oslo on Dronning Eufamas gate street.

A few other chefs and restaurants received accolades at this year’s presentation. Heidi Bjerkan took home two awards, the first for excellent service at her sustainable Michelin-starred restaurant Credo. One of her other restaurants, Jossa Mat og Drikke, won a green star, given to eatery’s that excel in sustainable operations. 

A Norwegian, Jimmy Øien, scooped the award for the best young chef. Øien is the chef at Rest located on Kirkegat in Central Oslo and holds a green star for sustainable practices. The menu heavily emphasises using imperfect produce, which other places may otherwise discard. 

Several restaurants also retained their status. Renaa, with its kitchen located in the heart of the restaurant, has two Michelin stars and is commended by the guide for the quality of its Norwegian seafood dishes and the bread it produces at a nearby bakery. 

The 2022 guide also includes Kontrast (Oslo), Statholdergaarden (Oslo) , Under (Lindesnes), the biggest underwater restaurant in the world, Sabi Omakase (Stavanger), Bare (Bergen), FAGN (Trondheim), Credo (Trondheim) and Speilsalen (Trondheim), which all have one Michelin star.