How Norway can change your eating and drinking habits

How Norway can change your eating and drinking habits
Are you a fan of brunost? Photo: Geshas/Depositphotos
People's habits change in subtle ways when they move abroad, but how does Norway affect eating and drinking? We asked The Local Norway readers.

When you first move abroad it’s likely you’ll still be craving baked beans and pouring milk into your tea (well, maybe not everyone – but I still do both of these after many years).

Here are some of the ways Norway has changed your eating and drinking habits. Thank you for your responses!

“I eat less Greek yoghurt because dairy products are so expensive. Compared to the UK, it’s more than four times the cost for one litre making an everyday item into a luxury food,” Peter, who lives in Oslo, wrote.

“I freeze more food so that it can be used later. I buy food from different retailers. I guess I see what’s in season and go for that. As a vegetarian, I tend to go for variety and that isn’t something I see in your average Rema 1000,” he added.

Peter wasn’t the only person to suggest that less variety is available in Norwegian stores and that this affects the way they eat.

“We need to improvise with available things. Many products, fruits and spices are not available,” wrote Boban Vesin, who lives in Tønsberg.

“We miss sausages, and a bigger variety of meat,” Vesin said.

But overall the effect of Norway on eating habits – in particular healthy eating habits – was described positively in the responses we received.

Grønlands Torg in Oslo. Photo: Depositphotos

“I eat a LOT more fish,” one reader, Katalin Banyai of Frederikssund, wrote, although she also mentioned that fruit and vegetables were of worse quality in Norway than in previous places of residence.

“I eat way less sugary and salty snacks since they are so expensive in Norway. I have also quit eating fast food since there isn’t one on every corner like home,” wrote Ólöf Magnúsdóttir, who lives in Østfold.

“Unfortunately I also eat less organic food since moving here because the selection in normal grocery stores is very little, to nothing. Something I wish will improve in the future,” she added.

Other readers echoed those sentiments.

“(I have) managed to eat less fast food and more healthier food (since moving to Norway),” wrote Aini Hanafiah from Indonesia.

What of traditional Norwegian food or eating traditions? We also asked readers whether any specific culinary habits had rubbed off on them.

“Having ‘turkaffe’ [Norwegian hiking coffee, ed.] is nice, accompanied with skillingsboller [cinnamon rolls], vafler and kvikklunsj,” Hanafiah wrote.

Two readers named traditional Christmas dish svineribbe (pork belly) as their favourite Norwegian eating habit.

“Ribbe… are so delicious and crispy,” one reader, Penny, wrote in her response.

Mysost or brunost, Norway’s famous brown cheese, got a couple of mentions – if indirect ones.

Brown cheese on waffles and cardamon in boller [rolls] were named by Peter as his favourite tastes of Norway.

“We like candies, crackers and Norwegian cheese,” Vesin wrote.

Meanwhile, Magnúsdóttir proclaimed Sørlanda chips as “probably the best snack ever made”.

READ ALSO: What are the best ways to save money in Norway?