It recently dawned on me, whilst on holiday in Norway, how much Norwegians love their food! The specialities are endless: fresh bread with liver pâté, pasta salads with shrimps, fish! fish! and fish! salmon, cod, meatballs and “komler” (potato balls with salty meat and sausage), cured meats, brown cheese, black coffee, waffles and the list goes on. As we sat in a small town near the coast, about 35 km south of Bergen, enjoying ourselves a serving of traditional fish soup, Matt started thinking about how the small cafe serving traditional Norwegian foods & snacks could re-invent itself into something much more interesting and profitable. ‘This fish soup’, he said, ‘is pretty average.’ ‘How about some more interesting dishes, like a tasty pasta dish, a delicious curry or at least something a bit more interesting? This business could do really well.’ Like any other Melburnian, he believes interesting is better than traditional. That garlic and onion should form part of everything you cook. That wine is better than water (well hey, I’d have to agree on that one!!)
Thing is, after careful consideration, I realised Norwegians love their food just like the Italians love their pasta. Like the Chinese love their ducks. The Norwegian cuisine might look dull at a first glance, and let’s face it, you are lucky if you even get some salt & pepper in your fish soup! However it is what it is, and every time I’m there I seem to scoff down those fish cakes like there is no tomorrow. I eat bread for breakfast AND lunch, sometimes even dinner. I emerge myself in ‘lefser’ & waffles & brown cheese (the latter has yet to be approved by the French as cheese, but I’m not one of those who judge a cheese by its smell). I sip black, filtered coffee like it’s something I do every day anyway, and I like it (however I also think it could be about time to start importing some more espresso machines over there!). Then there’s ‘rekesalat’, that shrimp coleslaw you slap onto fresh bread. Not for beginners necessarily, but all in good time. Just getamungstit.
So in reality, the Norwegian cuisine isn’t weird or dull. It’s just….Norwegian. And while it ain’t breakfast 638 ways, I still have a big place in my heart for it.
The last week has been a whirlwind of different activities, particularly now that I’m also in the market for a new job! Never a dull moment as they say. I still managed to fit in a cheeky morning tea at Hausfrau yesterday.
Hausfrau is a bakey in Yarraville serving up great European delights, like Apfel Strudel and Danish pastries. I always come here for a treat and to catch up on my reading with the wide selection of magazines available.
On my way home, I caught a glimpse of a fabulous set of table & chairs outside ‘Sedonia’ in Seddon Village. Like any other breathing 30 year old female, I am a tiny bit obsessed with vintage. Sipping a cocktail in these chairs in the backyard on a balmy summer night? Don’t mind if I do!
I’ve been mildly obsessed with coffee as well lately, so no wonder I had to laugh when I noticed this little quote on a wall in Yarraville village.
Now, if only I could add ‘young, feisty and with sex appeal’ to that, both the leader of the opposition AND me might actually get somewhere! For the rest of you, ask yourselves what you’ve done wrong to potentially get that guy as your next prime minister. It must have been something really….bad.
I’ve got the post holiday bluuueees…..no wonder, considering how cold it’s been in Melbourne lately! I thought spending July in Europe and Asia meant the worst of the coldness took place while you sipped mojitos in Bali. However waking up to extreme winds and rain this morning brought some serious doubt to that theory. Even though it turned sunny in the afternoon, the winds felt arctic and went straight through my glorious winter coat. I have to say that after 11 years in Australia, I still can’t get used to these freezing houses we live in! Al though I finally have ducted heating in my house (hurrah!), I still seem to spend my days sipping ridiculous amounts of tea & coffee, and jumping into a downward dog every now and then just to make sure the blood is still circulating! Anyway, here are some photos from my out & abouting today. I welcome the return of the winter boots and coat! Along with the jetlag, it’s really making my life complete!
By the way, did you hear the news of how the Norwegian PM became a cabbie for the afternoon as part of the 2013 Norwegian election campaign? If not check it here.
Something for K Rudd and T Demolition to think about?
Ai, ai ai, Norwegian Wood has been quiet for way too long! My sincere apologies to all you great people out there.
I’ve just been having too much fun! How you say? Well, it certainly involved leaving dreary, wintery Melbourne behind. So after a quick stop over for some much needed rays in Bali, we headed off to… (drumroll)…Norway! Had a fantastic time; ate lots of untoasted bread with liver pate and hiked up mountains just for the sake of it. Norwegian living at its best!