Norway is located in Northern Europe and shares a border with Finland, Russia and Sweden. The Norwegian diet is based on tradition as much as it is on availability of produce. Only 5 percent of Norwegian land is suitable for farming of food products, and half of Norway's food is imported from other countries. Modern foods have snuck into the daily Norwegian diet, however and as of 2006, Norwegians were the top European consumers of frozen pizza.
Fish and Meat
Freshwater and saltwater fish is a major part of the Norwegian diet and is consumed more than other meats. Fishes include cod, haddock, herring, mackerel, trout and salmon. Ground fish dishes, crayfish and oysters are common in Norwegian cuisine, and boiled cod is a delicacy. Lamb is popular during the autumn months and is often used to make Norway's national dish, a peppered lamb with potatoes. Cold cut meats are also common, particularly for use on sandwiches, while reindeer, moose and duck are also consumed.
Fruits and Vegetables
The Norwegian growing season is only 100 to 190 days long, so seasonal and fruits and vegetables can be expensive during the long winter season. Many fruits and vegetables are imported, although root vegetables are ample in numbers. Norwegian consumption of fruits and vegetables used to be scarce, but has improved. A study published in the August 1995 issue of the "International Journal of Nutrition and Food Science" showed that 31 percent of Norwegian subjects consumed vegetables two times per week or less.
Wheat can't be grown during Norway's brief farming period, so alternative grains are used. Traditional Norwegian bread is made of barley, oats, rye or potatoes. Norway's national bread is lefse, a flat bread that can be cooked without an oven. Bread is typically consumed at both breakfast and lunch.
A Norwegian breakfast usually consists of muesli cereal or bread and butter, accompanied by milk, tea, coffee or juice. Bread may be served with a large selection of toppings, such as jam, mackerel and tomato sauce, goat cheese, ham, salami and soft boiled eggs. Danish pastries make an occasional appearance at breakfast, as well. Norwegians typically pack an open-faced sandwich for lunch. Dinner is simple and usually consists of meat, boiled potatoes and vegetables.
- CooksInfo.com: Norwegian Food
- Norwegian Seafood Export Council: Seafood from Norway
- "International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition"; Dietary Intake of Fruits and Vegetables in Norway: Influence of Life Phase and Socio-economic Factors; M. Wandel; August 1995
- Frommer's: Food and Drink in Norway