Eating Traditional Cuisine in Norway: What to Expect
Norway's visitors often wonder what kind of food they should expect to find on their trip. Here's a brief overview of the kinds of meals you might have when traveling to Norway.
Fish makes up much of Norwegian cuisine. This probably comes as no surprise - after all, you're never far from the ocean in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Even if you're a fan of fish, you're certain to find something delicious during your Norwegian cruise - in fact, many of Hurtigruten's cruises have onboard fishing demonstrations. These give you the chance to get a first-hand look at how the Norwegian fishing industry works.
The great thing about having fish in Norway is that it's guaranteed to be fresh. Your proximity to both fresh and seawater means that any fish you eat in Norway will be a cut above the rest. The freshness marks a big difference compared to the cuts found in your local freezer section.
Adventurous carnivores will leap at the chance to try reindeer and elk, both of which are fairly easy to find in Norway. In fact, reindeer is among the dishes regularly referenced as one of Norway's local delicacies.
Lamb is also frequently included in Norwegian cuisine. Fårikål, a dish made up of boiled mutton and cabbage served with boiled potatoes, is very popular in the country. Most of the food you'll find will be simply prepared and very lightly seasoned, since the culinary standard in Norway is to rely on the flavor of the foods themselves. Still, this causes many visitors to think Norwegian food is bland.
If you don't eat meat or fish, you're likely to have limited options when visiting Norway. Unfortunately the country isn't very vegetarian friendly, and outside of the major cities, you'll probably need to supplement your diet with food from local supermarkets. If you're traveling with Hurtigruten, however, there are vegetarian options onboard.
Breakfast in Norway is usually a fairly light meal, made up mostly of fruit, cheese and bread. Fish and cold meat options may also be available.
Lunch is arguably the best time to try local restaurants and cafes, as they tend to have specials during the middle of the day. Norwegian cuisine can be very expensive, but eating out during lunchtime can let you explore the meal options without going over budget.
For dinner, you can expect the aforementioned fish and red-meat meals. If you're eating out, your best bet for your budget may be visiting an all-you-can-eat buffet. These types of restaurants are fairly common throughout the country, and will give you the chance to try many different foods at once.