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Five Norwegian foods that aren’t as bad as they sound… and one that is

Living in a new country means getting your palate to get to grips with a new cuisine. Luckily these Norwegian dishes are much more appetising than they sound.

Five Norwegian foods that aren't as bad as they sound... and one that is
A Norwegian brunch. Photo by Louis Hansel - Restaurant Photographer on Unsplash

Fiskepudding

Fish pudding, luckily not a desert, and fortunately a much tastier prospect in reality than it looks on paper or in its packaging. 

The only bad thing about this Norwegian favourite is that it’s perhaps a bit plain. Fiskepudding is a kind of stuffing made from white fish, flour, milk, and spices.

Fish pudding can also be served with a cream sauce, and when served as such, is called Fløtepudding

Fish pudding is usually accompanied by boiled potatoes, grated carrots, fried onions and more. 

It’s similar in taste and texture to fiskboller or fiskburgers, meaning if you like those, you certainly won’t have a problem with fish pudding. 

It’s fairly common in Norway, and you’ll find it in most supermarkets if you fancy giving it a go. 

Rømmegrøt

Rømmegrøt is a sour cream porridge typically eaten on special occasions. The porridge is made from sour cream, whole milk, wheat flour, butter and salt. The recipe differs slightly depending on which part of Norway you are in. 

It’s typically served with butter, sugar, cinnamon and cream. It’s a smooth, sweet and savoury dish with a similar texture to Greek yoghurt, albeit warm Greek yoghurt. 

A portion of Rømmegrøt. AnneCN/Flickr.

It can be a bit rich and is undoubtedly very filling, so it’s worth opting for a small dish if it’s your first time. 

The dish isn’t just loved in Norway. In Westby Winsconsin, a small town with a lot of Norwegian heritage, there is an annual Rømmegrøt eating contest. 

Rømmegrøt can either be made at home or be bought ready-made from almost all supermarkets in Norway. 

Brunost 

Brown cheese is a caramelised, sweetened goats cheese that, as a standalone product, probably sounds quite appealing to the average cheese lover. It would be impossible to spend any time in Norway without coming across this local delicacy. 

It’s how the Norwegian cheese is usually served, which puts some people off. Take havrevafler (savoury oat waffles) or sveler (thick Norwegian pancakes), for example. Both of these dishes are traditionally served with brown cheese, sour cream and jam. 

A Norwegian waffle, minus the brown cheese: Photo by Tresting/ Flickr.

While this combination may not sound too appealing, it’s an essential meal for anyone wanting to experience Norwegian food culture. It is a tasty, well-balanced combo that works surprisingly well. 

Pinnekjøtt 

Translated to meat on a stick, Pinnekjøtt is one of several dishes you may find on the menu if you opt for Christmas dinner in Norway. The dish is eaten all over Norway but is more commonly found in Western and Northern Norway. 

The dish is comprised of boiled and smoked lamb ribs, sausages, potatoes and pureed swedes.

A bowl of Pinnekjøtt ready to be boiled. Photo by Bernt Rostad/ Flickr

The lamb ribs are the highlight of this meal and are tender and tasty when properly cooked, although they are also incredibly rich, meaning once a year is probably enough for this yule time staple. 

READ ALSO: Ten aspects of Norwegian culture foreigners need to embrace

Kaviar

Kaviar, smoked cod roe that is creamed and put into tubes can be found in every supermarket in Norway and almost every fridge. 

While it may not sound very nice, this is a popular snack or breakfast, typically served on bread or crispy bread (knekkebrød). 

Kaviar has a strong salty taste, with a distinct smell that may put some people off, but it’s certainly worth giving a go. 

Lutefisk

It won’t shock you to hear that Lutefisk is our pick for the Norwegian food that is as bad as it sounds.

Lutefisk is a dried white fish pickled in lye and rehydrated before eating in case you haven’t heard of it. 

A plate of lutefisk. Photo by mtcarlson/Flickr

It’s almost exclusively served as part of a Christmas feast or julebord. 

Lutefisk is traditionally dished up with boiled potatoes, green peas and bacon. 

The smell of Lutefisk is strong and pungent with a sour ammonia aroma. The fish itself has a very mild taste, but its gelatinous texture is what puts many people off of trying the fish again. 

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DISCOVER NORWAY

Five stunning train trips to take in Norway this summer 

Norway is home to some of the world's most picturesque train journeys, and what better time to take them than when the sun is shining and the weather is warm. 

Five stunning train trips to take in Norway this summer 

Some of the best Norway has to offer can be seen sitting down from the comfort of train seats. Much of the country’s rail system is draped around stunning scenery, giving passengers close-up views not possible when flying or driving. 

Such is the beauty of the country’s railway lines, it’s no surprise that a number of different routes are featured on lists of the world’s most scenic train journeys. 

With summer on the horizon, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best to take a trip on this summer. 

The Bergen Line

One of the busiest and most popular of Norway’s railway lines, the Bergenbannen acts as a greatest hits of Norway’s landscape. The line which connects Oslo in the east to Bergen in the west makes its way through mountains, valleys, fields, fjords and forests. 

The first leg of the trip from Oslo to Geilo passes through mountain scenery before ascending to Finse and passing along the Hardangerjøkulen glacier. 

There is also plenty of connections to other great train journeys. A popular transfer is to Myrdal station, where you can take the iconic Flåm Line. 

Film buffs and Sci-Fi nerds alike may want to make the pilgrimage to Finsewhich was the filming location for the ice planet of Hoth in Star Wars.

 
 
 
 
 
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Vy is the rail operator which runs trains on the line. You can book tickets for the seven-hour journey here

Word to the wise, tickets for this train can cost a lot if you leave it late- so be sure to book in advance.

The Flåm Line

Famous for the green locomotives which operate on the line, the Flåm Line is the perfect trip for those who like to keep things short and sweet as it is just over an hour long. 

One of the steepest railway lines in the world, around 500,000 passengers take the hour-long train ride from Myrdal to the village of Flåm, located on the interior of the Aurlandsfjord, each year. 

For those with a keener interest in trains, the Flåm Line is also a technical marvel. For starters, there is an elevation change of 866 metres on the journey. Secondly, two locomotives are required to get passengers to their location- one at the front and one at the back. And for those who like to dive into details, each carriage has its own specialised braking system.  

If you prefer nature to the mechanics, there is plenty for you. The journey takes you along mountainsides and passes the Kjosfossen waterfall. The train stops at the waterfall so people can enjoy the views, get some fresh air, and take pictures.

 
 
 
 
 
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Compared to other trains on this less, the interior of the carriages is a lot more retro and a lot less modern, which will add to the charm for many travellers. You can book tickets here

Rauma Line

High peaks, jagged rocks and windswept plateaus are all things the Rauma Line has in abundance. The 114-kilometre-long journey is stunning all year round. The trip will see you cut through the Romsdal valley, speed past the river with which the line shares its name, and cross the impressive Kylling Bridge. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Until recently, this train was more of a hidden gem than the more famous Flåm and Bergen lines. 

This line doesn’t have as many departures as some others on this list, so it’s better to book in advance and plan the trip accordingly. 

Like the Flåmsbana, the journey is brisk at 1 hour and 40 minutes. Tickets are booked with SJ Nord.

The Norland Line

Nearly as impressive in length as it is in scenery, the Nordland Line connects central Norway with Bodø in the north. 

Even though the 11-hour trip will take you to Hell (the town), the journey should be a fantastic experience overall. 

Summer is the best time of year to make the journey as due to the long days and midnight sun, once you cross the Arctic Circle, very little of the landscape will be lost to darkness. 

However, there are only two departures per day, and one of them is a night train. However, the night train may be better in the winter due to the prospect of being able to spy the northern lights. 

The Nordland Line boasts the title of being the only train in Norway to cross in and out of the Arctic Circle.

 

Trains start in the forests and farmland of Trondelag before crossing the Saltfjellet mountain range and meandering along the Arctic coast. 

 The Røros Line

Norway’s most historical line, opening in 1877, connects Hamar in southeast Norway with Støren. The line is easily accessible from both Oslo and Trondheim.

The scenery will feel more rugged and remote than other train lines, but the train will also pass through the forests of Østerdalen, and passengers may be able to spot moose, bears and lynxes. 

History lovers can disembark at the UNESCO-listed mining town of Røros. SJ Nord operates the route. 

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