Monday, 23 May 2016

Ode to Norway

A brief surge into just three of multiple dimensions of Norway: cuisine, traditions and… tigers! 

Ode to Norway

Norway is a sea state, and naturally, fish is a major dish in the country. Fishing is one of the eldest ways of survival for the Norwegians. The recipes of fish are numerous. For example, there is a wonderful soup of various kinds of fish. The first broth is poured out, and the dish itself is made on the second one. Add leek, carrot, basil and cream – and the result will be amazing! 

Ode to Norway

Cod is a traditional king of fish in Norway. Bake it in the oven, or boil it with salt, pepper and bay leaf. On the northern coast of Norway many fish farms breed cod and salmon. 

Do not miss famous lutefisk, it is made of trout and lye. The process is quite complicated, and households do not use it practically at all. 

Curiously enough, local men mostly refuse to consider fish "real" food. That is why meat cuisine is various and developed in Norway as well. The Norwegians prefer beef. During the hunting season, they cook deer in the oven or make beef stroganoff of it. 

Ode to Norway

Whale meat is popular in Norway as well, but do not rush to taste it – it smells seaweed, some people may dislike it. If you still insist on trying it, whale works best as a starter, like carpaccio of smoke-dried or smoke-cured meat. 

Overall, the Norwegian cuisine is not as sophisticated as, for example, the French, but it is natural at maximum. 


Traditions play a very important role for the Norwegians. For example, they put on traditional costumes for important family holidays. Usually such costume, or bunad, is a gift for the Rite of Confirmation that Lutheran Norwegian teenagers undergo at the age of 15 or 16. 

Ode to Norway

Confirmation is considered an important event in life, second after the wedding. There is a big family fest with guests and presents. Sometimes, the costume for Confirmation is worn for the wedding. With its color, it is easy to define the native region of a bride: blue shade means North, red dresses come from the South, and black is for the Oslo region. National suit is hand-made and costs from 3000 euros. 


Another tradition is quite new and is typical for Oslo. In the end of the 19th century, a poet and writer Bjørnstjerne Martinius Bjørnson (who received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature) wrote a poem about a fight between a horse and a tiger. According to some critics, tiger is an allegory of the town while horse symbolizes the village. Since then sculptures of tigers started to appear virtually everywhere. 

Ode to Norway

Today, the most famous tiger stands next to the Central Station. The sculpture was created by Elena Engelsen for the 1000th anniversary of the city that was celebrated in 2000. 

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