Norway sticks with fårikål as national dish

The Local Norway
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Norway sticks with fårikål as national dish
Fårikål being prepared the traditional way - Photo: NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet

The six-month process to replace fårikål as Norway's national dish has ended in an underwhelming result, with the country voting to stick with the homely lamb and cabbage stew.


Fårikål had been Norway's official national dish for more than 40 years until Food and agriculture minister Sylvi Listhaug launched a competition to replace it in January to mark the bicentenary of the country's constitution.  
However, the nationwide survey she commissioned from Ipsos to whittle down nominations sent to the official competition email revealed that, despite the popularity of foreign imports such as tacos and pizza, fårikål remained the nation's firm favourite. 
The comforting pottage won 45 percent of the national vote, followed by kjøttkaker, a type of meatballs, Raspeball, a potato dumpling, and pinnekjøtt, the lamb's ribs traditionally served at Christmas. 
Fårikål is a worthy winner," Listhaug said as she unveiled the result at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, according to Norway's NRK. "It shows that the tradition is strong among adults." 
The competition was the first time that Norway has been given a chance to change their national dish since fårikål was selected in a competition on NRK's Nitimen cookery programme in 1972. 
However, when Listhaug announced the project in January, it already raised suspicions of her more conservative countrymen. 
"We already have a national dish, but I wouldn't mind changing the food and agriculture minister!" grumbled Steinar Bergheim in the comments to a an article in the VG newspaper. 
To qualify for submission, the dish's main ingredients must have been sourced in Norway, so ham and pineapple pizza and falafel were off the menu (neither chickpeas nor pineapple are grown in Norway). 
The decision to keep fårikål in place is in stark contrast to what happened when Britain voted on a new national dish in 2001, when it chose Chicken Tikka Masala, a creamy curry dish thought to have originated in the country's Indian restaurants.


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