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    What to eat in beautiful Norway

    So far, it’s been a trip of magnificent views, beautiful sunsets, Aurora Borealis, fishing for seaweed, Fergus singing in the car, coffee (lots of coffee), and breathtaking nature of all kinds, but one thing I can’t wait to share with you is some of the lovely food we have been blessed with both on the road and at our lovely accommodation on the way.

    The first thing that really stuck out for me when we first arrived, was the value that Norwegians place on cooking good, hearty, home-made meals with honest and proper ingredients. After being told that less than 10% of the whole country of Norway is able to be farmed, the locals rely on a lot of home grown vegetables and imported ingredients for their greens, and usually self-caught fish as part of their staple diet!

    Fergus and I have really tried to cut down on meat for a few reasons over the last few months, and Norway has actually been the perfect place to do so, so far. There are amazing options, and usually a traditional dish for each region you visit, which I always love trying. Being from a small seaside island I can say that I’ve been quite blessed with growing up with good fresh fish – but this trip has proven to me, that I’ve missed out of the best fish of my life till now.

    Brun ost – Yummy brown cheese (my favourite)

    Starting with breakfast, every place we have stayed has offered a really full Norwegian breakfast with plenty to choose from. Every morning looked pretty much like on the photos above (apart from our Campervan adventure – here was our breakfast less glamorous!) 

    My personal favourite discovery has been the traditional and very Norwegian, Brunost or ‘Brown Cheese’! This amazing, but funny looking cheese is usually served with breakfast, and has a really delicate caramel flavour – sometimes I have a sweet tooth – to add to your morning toast. Jesper our host at Manshausen explained it’s origins are from Goats milk, and it is certainly the one thing that has all of us hooked at every breakfast table across Norway. If you ever visit Norway, please try this and be sure to ask your Norwegian friends about it. I am sure they will be impressed! I have to admit I miss it already.. Maybe I should look into if I can buy it online, haha!

    Next up – the fish!

    We’ve learnt a lot from speaking to our various hosts and new friends across the country, and as you can expect, a lot of the Norwegian delicacies go back to the times before refrigeration and represent traditional food means. With Norway’s long coastline, there is a lot of fish on the menu, and as well as it’s healthy benefits, it’s been great to try many different types along our trip. Our absolute favourite place was the cutest cafe opposite Hattvika Lodge, called Himmel og Havn, which was a converted fisherman’s lodge into a cute cafe/bistro serving only a handful of dishes and only open on the weekends.

    To understand the importance of fish in Norway and the extreme pride behind it, you have to speak to the locals in Lofoten about the Atlantic Cod. The whole region has survived on this lovely white fish for centuries When the food arrived (we ordered the cod, of course) it was the most magical fish we had ever eaten. All four of us sat there with our host Kristian just shouting and smiling in amazement at the food from this modest restaurant. The highest recommendation from me is to make sure you visit this hygge spot when you are in Norway, it is simply mid blowing!

    When you drive round North of Norway you also soon discover that drying fish is a big industry and delicacy here. You pass by lots of big wooden drying fish spots and at first we were wondering how it could hang there drying without the birds eating it? Apparently it’s because there is so much fresh fish to catch here, that the birds prefer that to the dried. (I do get them, haha! The dried fish is unique and most own households dry their own fish) It looks cute when you pass by their houses, and you see the dried fish hanging outside.) Norway import lots of dried fist yearly to Spain and the rest of Europe.

    Fish burgers 

    Again, on the trend of fish, the next thing we kept seeing on the menu was fish burgers.

    I suppose back home in Denmark and London, a fish burger isn’t too appealing so didn’t take our fancy, but here this is something totally different! We were advised to save our taste buds until we made our way to the famous location of Sakrisøy – that famous yellow cabin.

    That’s because next door is a world famous restaurant serving the official best fish burger in the world – Anita’s Sjømat!

    Inside Anita’s is a beautiful wooden restaurant with 4 options; classic fish burger, classic with prawns, classic with salmon and of course, classic with prawns and salmon!

    Having chosen the classic, we were not disappointed by the world’s best.

    It. Was. Incredible.

    The recipe is secret of course, so you must go and try it out yourself. Beware of the queues at this stunning place, as people literally fly from Oslo for 2 hours to come to this restaurant, it is that good! Their interior is also spot on, with lots of dried fish hanging from the celling. The service here is top and the view almost look unreal. Yes, guys I am sold and as soon as I am back in Lofoten – this is where you’ll find me!

    Address: Sakrisøya, 8390 Reine, Norge 

    Opening hours: Every day of the week from 11am-18pm

    Supermarket food

    The above photo is from the cutest little café/shop in Lofoten at Nusfjord hotel (I wish every supermarket in Norway looked this cute. I just done have any supermarket photos -so I thought these could work 😉 )

    With every new country, it’s always so interesting to see what fills the shelves of the local supermarkets and stores. I remember in Japan, my mind was blown by some of the exotic and colourful items on display, and Norway was no different. 

    With a lot of miles to do on the road, Elvin and I built a good system for shopping and would always make sure we found the following bits to throw into our bags, and if you’re road tripping, these are great for quick snacks on the go;

    • Norwegian rye crackers – They are delicious and stay crispy for days
    • Norwegian sweet flat bread – Must try! It’s like a dessert, but it’s yummy. If you can get this locally from a little shop, then promise me that you will give it a go!
    • Caviar – squeeze (so yummy on the crackers with a slice of cheese!) I am obsessed with this, and this was my everyday snack when we lived in the campervan. Rye crackers with caviar paste and cheese! Yes pleaseeee
    • Chocolate – Dark chocolate is the perfect snack for the road. I fell in love with a brand called Freia. They do tasty 70% dark chocolate with berries.
    • Oatly Oat milk – I have over the past year grown a big love for Oat milk and now I actually prefer my flat white with oat milk compaired to regular skinny milk. It can be hard to find while traveling abroad – but I was so happily surprised to see that in Norway you can almost get oat milk anywhere. Supermarkets, coffee shops and even gas stations! 
    • Organic bread and soya products – I love soya yoghurt (especially from Alpro) and in Norway it’s super easy to find

    Borrowed the 3 last images from Kaffe Brenneriet’s homepage

    Coffeeeee – my biggest obsession

    As you know, I love my coffee! Luckily, Fergus, Elvin and Bulent love it just as much as me, so this trip was really focused on where our next cup of coffee heaven was coming from.

    In the North of the country, we found that the small coffee shops of places such as Bodø, and Lofoten all had great coffee to start your day with, but coffee shops were a little rare up there and discovering a caffeine stop on the road was an awesome feeling!

    Down in the South of the country, in Oslo and Bergen, a big recommendation must go to our favourite coffee shops around – Kaffebrenneriet.
    These collection of coffee shops are actually a small chain, but have managed to keep this amazing and honest feeling of a stand alone coffee shop.

    They really reminded Fergus and I of my favourite coffee shop in Durham (Flat White) with a rustic and vintage feeling about each one and their individual store managers being really cool.

    Our favourite was located West of Oslo in Røa where the staff were great and we were so lucky to use it as a bit of an office for a morning or two on the road!

    Beyond that, I can so recommend this cute little spot in Oslo for any visitors. It’s called Liebling and is in the Grünerløkka neighbourhood of Oslo. Amazing for cakes!

    Why, no wine?!

    The only difficulty we ever faced was a tough one of course….. after a long day on the road, or hiking up hills, there are times when Elvin and I really wanted a nice glass of wine in the camper or to share in our cute cabins, but we just couldn’t find wine anywhere?

    It was pretty much the only thing we had any difficulty with buying as Norwegians don’t sell wine in the local supermarket, and we found this out the hard way!

    Meanwhile, Fergus and Bulent had their local beers for refreshment and so at least they were happy.

    So, after our experience all around this majestic country, it’s fair to say that you will leave Norway having eaten amazing and healthy food wherever you go. Even for those that don’t love fish, there are plenty of home baked options with their breads and amazing baking.

    I must say that we were all so impressed with how easy it was to find organic and natural foods whether we were up mountains in 2 feet of snow, or deep into a fjord with one small supermarket.

    I can’t wait to hear what you all think when you try these little treats, so let me know what your favourites are!

    Lots of love your
    Isabella

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    Isabella
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    28th marts 2019

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