Facts on Norwegian Food

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Norwegian food is influenced by cuisines throughout Europe. Norwegians eat pastas and pizza, potatoes and other root vegetables, and a variety of grains, meats, fish and dairy products. Norway is famous for its cured, dried and smoked products.

Fishing and Farming

  • Farming and fishing have provided Norwegian sustenance for centuries. Traditionally, the mother and younger children would do the farming, and the father and older sons would go to fish. Norwegians consume more fish than meat, and fresh salmon, cod, herring and halibut are abundant.

Lutefisk

  • Lutefisk, one of the most well-known traditional foods of Norway, is dried fish that is soaked in lye and then baked. Due to its strong flavor and jelly-like texture, many find it repulsive. According to an old folk tale, the lye was meant to poison the Vikings who ate it, who instead declared it a delicacy.

Exports and Imports

  • Half of the food in Norway is imported, including all of its sugar. The country's main food exports are Jarlsburg cheese, salmon and aquavit, a flavored spirit.

Holiday Foods

  • Around Christmas, Norwegians prepare a variety of cookies and pastries known as the "seven kinds." Main dishes vary by region. Lamb and pork are more common in the western and inland region, while fish dishes are more common along the coast.

Fun Fact

  • Although dry fish dishes such as lutefisk are now a source of national pride, these processes originally were developed to preserve food for harsh winters.

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