Tag Archives: norge

Brown Cheese – Where to Start

May 24, 2018 | Leave a comment

Ever wondered where to start with brown cheese? Scared of the taste, the colour, or even the texture? It is loved by Norwegians everywhere and gaining popularity elsewhere too. The distinctive tangy-sweet taste is quite unique – we think you’ll like it too.

In Norway there are many more varieties – but these are the most popular ones. From sweet and tangy caramore to the rounder, milder ‘gudbrandsdalen’ and the rich and tangy ‘ekte geitost’ – they are all delicious on freshly baked goods! Here are just some of our favourites.

Caramore – on waffles or pancakes. With a little jam. Sweet and delicious with a nice tang.

Gudbrandsdalen – on still warm croissants with a bit of jam. Croissants are about as Norwegian as marmite, but it really works.

Ekte Geitost – on freshly made buns (again with a little jam or honey). Try them on cinnamon buns, halved then toasted and buttered.

 

Do you eat it differently? Let us know in the comments!

    Tine Gudbrandsdalen Brunost – Brown Cheese 1 kg
    £17.49 £14.99
    - +
    Tine Ekte Geitost – Brown Goat’s Cheese 500g
    £10.79 £9.19
    - +
    Tine Caramore – Brown Cheese 250g
    £4.99 £4.29
    - +

How To: Celebrate 17th May

May 14, 2018 | Leave a comment

How to celebrate 17th May - Norway Day

17th of May is a special day. Also known as ‘Norway Day’ it is the day the Norwegian constitution was signed – and thanks to Norway’s history of being ruled by big brothers Sweden and Denmark, the celebrations for this important step towards autonomy has been celebrated greatly since*. Anyone who has been to Norway for the day can attest to this – there are great big parades, double digit repetitions of the national anthem, so much flag waving you would get tennis elbow if you’re not careful and naturally a champagne breakfast to kick it all off. It is also a national holiday – lovely!

 

For some reason it is not recognised as such elsewhere so the celebrations tend to be slightly dulled – but that doesn’t mean you can’t drape yourself in red white and blue or wear your bunad to work (it just means most people will have no clue why you are dressed so peculiarly).

 

So, dear Nordmenn – Norwegians – abroad, this is for you.  A little how to celebrate if you’re stuck far away from the land of brown cheese and tall blonde people.

 

Host your own:

Breakfast or brunch. On the day the traditional choice – but we don’t think anyone would mind if you move it to, say, the nearest Saturday so you can take your time and not rush off to work (or feel guilty for being late).

The traditional brunch is for many a big buffet table of everything nice – scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, charcuterie (Norwegian fenalår being the prime choice), fresh fruit and veggies, cheeses, a cake, strawberries, fruit juice and champagne. For example. Both fenalår, cheeses and salmon are things we supply – so do pop by or get your order in online in time for brunch (last orders for next day delivery is 1pm – choose next day delivery at checkout).

Join the official celebrations:

In London? Join us in Southwark Park where the official celebration kicks off around 10am when we start serving our brunch platter. Fresh bread rolls, scrambled egg, salmon, cheeses, ham, freshly cut strawberries and a glass of bubbly or orange juice – a lovely start to the day which will continue with a parade, speeches and entertainment (just like in Norway). There will also be a bar serving drinks, coffee and cake, hot dogs and treats, ice cream and other goodies available during the day. All Norwegian, of course!

The brunch is pre-booking only – tickets can be found here.

Head to our café for hot dogs, solo, waffles & Bløtekake:

Our café is open as usual from 8am to 7pm and will be focusing a little extra on Norwegians in addition to our regular offering of lots of freshly made open sandwiches, salads, cakes and drinks –

  • We’ll be serving hot dogs in lompe (potato ‘wraps’ – if you know you know)
  • Krone-Is strawberry (imported specially!)
  • Waffles with brown cheese
  • Lots of Solo
  • Bløtekake
  • Free coffee to anyone wearing their bunad (better get polishing those silver brooches!).

Expect A-ha in the background and a lot of ‘Gratulerer med dagen’ – we look forward to seeing you.

*For the most part – there were a few exceptions, e.g. during the German occupation in the second world war, when waving of the Norwegian flag was forbidden

Recipe: Bløtekake – Norwegian Celebration Cake

May 10, 2018 | Leave a comment

Recipe: Bløtekake - Norwegian Celebration Cake

‘Bløtekake’ (also ‘Bløtkake’) literally means soft cake – and is Norway’s version of a Victoria sponge. The difference is that a Bløtekake is lighter – as it is traditionally made with a fat free sponge, ie. a type of Genoise sponge.

Layered with seasonal berries or fruit and whipped cream it is a traditional celebration cake in Norway – enjoyed for any occasion from birthdays to weddings, anniversaries and leaving parties. Easy to tweak to your preferences and great to look at. Ticks all the boxes in our book! You can use any sponge cake recipe you like – this is the one Martina’s Norwegian mormor (maternal grandmother) has been using forever. The mix of regular flour and potato flour makes for an extra tender crumb.

You will need for the cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 60g flour
  • 60g potato flour (we use this one)
  • 1 ts baking powder

For the filling / assembly:

  • 50-100ml milk or orange juice
  • 300 ml whipping cream
  • 1 heaped teaspoon vanilla sugar (like this one)
  • 400g fresh berries and fruit of your choice (use whatever is in season – a mix of strawberries and raspberries is good, and some like sliced fresh banana in the middle, too)
  • Optional: 100ml of your favourite jam

Method:
Whisk eggs and sugar until pale, light and fluffy – we recommend a hand mixer for this – 5-10 minutes. Mix your flours and baking powder and sift into the egg mixture, then fold carefully to combine. Try not to lose the volume you got from the frantic whisking.

Pour into a well buttered cake mould with loose base covered in baking parchment.
Bake at 190-200 degrees for 30 minutes until cooked through. Leave to cool for 10 minuted before removing the mould. Let cool completely before using.

Assembly:
Slice your cake into two or three layers using a long serrated knife (or whatever works for you – just be careful to do it evenly all the way through). Splash each layer with a few tablespoonfuls of milk or orange juice to keep them moist and lovely.

Whip your cream with the vanilla sugar until soft peaks form – then, using manual labour, whip it for another 10-20 seconds until stiff enough to hold its shape. It is easy to overdo it with a mixer so we like using doing it by hand to finish. Rinse and prepare your fruit / berries and have ready in a bowl.

Place your bottom layer on your serving platter / cake stand and place strips of parchment paper all the way around, covering the plate. With a spatula, spread 1/4 of the whipped cream evenly across the cake (1/3 if only two layers). If using jam, dollop this evenly across the cream. Spread 1/3 of your fruit/berries over the top in an even layer. Repeat with the next layer, if your cake is 3 layers. If only two layers, proceed to the next step.

Place your final layer on top of the cream/jam/berry and try to align it neatly so it is not leaning that way or the other. Cover the top of the cake with the rest of the cream – covering the sides if you like. Arrange the remaining fresh fruit / berries across the top any way you like. Any extra ones can be dotted around the serving plate. When you have finished with the cream and berries, carefully remove the parchment paper to reveal the clean plate.

Best eaten immediately.

You Know it is 17th May When…

April 18, 2018 | Leave a comment

    • You skip out of bed at 6 to be at a Champagne breakfast at 7.

 

    • You happily (well..) prance around in a heavy wool dress and your least comfortable shoes. And since it was a gift when you were 15, chances are it is a little tight around the middle, too.

       

    • You read several articles on how to dress for the big day – all in red white and blue, of course. Otherwise people may think you don’t take it seriously.

 

    • You plan a menu around the same colour scheme. Yep, very festive!

      picture via matprat.no

       

    • You happily iron shirts and polish silver for the entire family, and curse silently that you didn’t do this sooner.

 

    • You spend half a day either walking in or watching a parade whilst singing ‘Ja Vi Elsker’, then refuel on hotdogs, ice cream and more bubbles. Congrats!
      17mai parade norway

 

Recipe: Solskinnsboller

March 16, 2018 | Leave a comment

Solskinnsboller – Norwegian Custard Cinnamon Swirls

Of all the things to come out of Norway (brown cheese, knitted jumpers, a dabbing prince), these ‘Solskinnsboller’ buns must be amongst the tastiest. Don’t need another bun recipe? Listen. We think you do. These are named sunshine buns because they have the same effect – they make you happy. Buttery, soft cinnamon swirls with a gooey vanilla custard centre. Cinnamon buns = good. Custard = good. These buns? Criminal.

You will need:

  • 1 quantity bun dough (your favourite – or our favourite, recipe here)
  • 1 quantity creme patisserie or thick custard (homemade or bought – but if the latter thicken it with a bit of cornflour first or it will be too runny.

Quick and easy vanilla custard cream

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla paste)
  • 200 ml whole milk

Method: In a medium size saucepan, heat the milk until steaming (do not let it boil). Remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, corn flour, sugar and vanilla until a thick paste. Whilst whisking, pour a little of the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture until combined. Continue adding the hot milk slowly until everything is combined. Return to the saucepan and let simmer over medium heat until thickened – whisk continuously to avoid lumps forming. Once thickened (you should be able to make soft blobs that don’t disappear immediately – it will thicken more when it cools) pour into a bowl and place clingfilm directly onto the top of the custard. This avoids a skin forming. Leave to cool completely – the fridge quickens this step.

Assembling the buns:

Make you cinnamon buns as normal and leave under a tea towel for 25-30 mins to rise a bit more. Place your creme patisserie in a piping bag or plastic bag.

Now, you need to make an indent in each bun to fit the creme pat in – press down in the middle with your finger (or something measuring about 2cm diameter) until you have even indents in every bun. Pipe a small amount of custard into each hollow. Don’t be tempted to use too much – it will just get messy (but still tasty). 1-2 tsp should be enough.

Bake at 220 degrees celsius for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Morsdag – Norwegian Mother’s Day

February 8, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Morsdag – Norwegian Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries – but only Norway celebrates it the second Sunday in February which this year falls on the 11th. Mother’s Day was celebrated the first time in 1908 following an initiative from Anna Marie Jarvis who wanted to honour her mother for her work during the American civil war. The celebration became official in 1913, and set to fall on the second Sunday in May which is the day most countries observe it.

There is little evidence as to why they in Norway moved it to February – but it is likely linked to the many official holidays already observed in May; May 1st, May 17th, Christ Ascension day and Pentecost which can both fall in May. With any luck, you will have 4 additional days of during May if they all fall during the week.

Regardless of when it is celebrated, a special day to treat your Mamma should be acknowledged – in Norway you’ll often see cards, breakfast in bed or a present of some sort. Many people also see it as an excuse to get together for some family time – but whatever you do, just make sure to give your mamma a teeny bit of extra attention. If you are lucky enough to be spending the day with her you might want to mark the occasion with a little treat? This year it coincides with Fastlavn Sunday (the Norwegian equivalent to Shrove Tuesday and when most people eat their buns) so a given suggestion is the Norwegian jam semla – but we have listed a few other options for you in case you know some weirdo who doesn’t like these.

  1. Norwegian Jam Semlor AKA Fastelavnsboller. Cardamom scented buns filled with jam and lightly sweetened whipped cream. Get her favourite jam to fill them with.
  2. Sally’s chocolate buns. In case you live with someone who doesn’t appreciate the combo cream and bun (we know – they should simply be expelled from your household – but in the spirit of giving, we offer them chocolate buns instead). Think cinnamon bun but with chocolate in place of the cinnamon filling.
  3. Daim cookies. Addictive in their golden crispy chewiness and sweet enough to be the perfect excuse for a fourth cup of coffee, even on a Sunday. Plus they don’t require kneading.
  4. Lingonberry and spice layer cake (recipe in ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge). Looks gratifyingly impressive for the comparatively easy process – sure to score you tons of offspring-points. For any Norwegians out there – this is like a lighter take on classic ‘krydderkake’ layered with a cream cheese frosting tangy with lingonberries. Mamma will be impressed.
  5. Seeded rye rolls (recipe in the ScandiKitchen cookbook) Perhaps not your typical treat – but just imagine how nice it is to wake to a house smelling of freshly made bread, the breakfast table set and the coffee brewing. Nothing to do for mamma but sit down. A loving gesture if ever we saw one. Just make sure you also take care of the tidying up – unfortunately any goodwill built up from enjoying a prepared breakfast is at risk of dissipating with each crumb that needs tidying.
  6. Rye and bluberry granola bars (recipe in ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge) – attached to a promise of a hike, together. Fill a thermos with hot coffee, and you have the scene set for a lovely day spent outside. Don’t over complicate it – a walk to the nearest park and bench is fine.
  7. A cup of really good coffee and a card. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Write a card and say thanks for being mamma and bring her a cup of coffee or tea. This one is our current favourite.

Picture credit: Peter Cassidy for Ryland Peters & Small / ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge

Norwegian Fastelavnsboller – Berry Cream Buns

February 1, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Norwegian Berry Cream Buns – Fastelavnsboller

Fastelavnsboller is the Norwegian version of Semlor – using jam in place of the marzipan filling which is more commonly seen in Sweden. The term semlor is often used to describe Scandinavian cream buns – but this is not completely accurate. Semlor is the word most commonly used in Sweden and parts of Finland, and usually refers to a sweet yeasted bun filled with marzipan and cream. In the other Nordic countries, they have different buns. So marzipan haters, rejoice! This one is for you. Every bit as indulgent, and even easier to make. The same bun, with a lovely lightly sweetened whipped cream with a touch of vanilla and your favourite Nordic berry jam.

Bun dough:

  • 13 g dried yeast or 25 g fresh yeast *(see below)
  • 250 ml whole milk, heated to 36–37°C (97–98°F)
  • 80 g butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 300–400 g white strong flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Filling:

  • 100ml of our favourite jam – raspberry is most traditional but strawberry or blueberry are also popular (and delicious!)

Whipped cream:

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla sugar or extract (optional)

Method (makes 12)
*If using fresh yeast, add it to the finger-warm milk and mix until dissolved. Then pour it into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
If using dried yeast, sprinkle the yeast granules into the finger-warm milk and whisk together. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy and bubbly. Pour into the bowl of a food mixer with a dough hook and stir in the melted butter. Add the sugar and stir again. Add half of the flour as well as the salt, baking powder and ground cardamom. Add half the beaten egg (reserve the other half for brushing before baking).

Mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated and then start to add more of the flour, bit by bit, until you have a dough that is only a little bit sticky. Take care not to add too much flour. Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes in the mixer. Cover the bowl with a dish towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm (not hot) place until it has doubled in size – about 30–40 minutes.

Turn the dough out to a floured surface. Knead again for a few minutes, adding more flour if needed. You want a firmer but not dry dough. Cut the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces. Place, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet. Leave to rise for 25–30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

Brush each bun with the beaten egg and bake for 8–10 minutes or until baked through – keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Remove from oven and cover the buns with a lightly damp dish towel immediately – this will prevent them from forming a crust.
When they have cooled completely, cut a ‘lid’ off the buns – about 1.5 cm/1⁄2 in. from the top. Add about 2 tsp jam on the bottom half (or to taste).

Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla (if using) until stiff, then use a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle to pipe cream on all the buns (a spoon will do too). Put the ‘lids’ back on and dust lightly with icing sugar before serving.

Psst – eat the lid first to avoid the cream filling going everywhere as you bite into it.

 

This is how happy these buns will make you.

10 Culinary Delights From Our Scandi Childhoods

September 21, 2017 | Leave a comment

10 Culinary Delights From Our Scandi Childhoods

Sometimes, when we were little, this is all we wanted to eat. (Still is, sometimes). Recognise any of these, for yourself or your children? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Meatballs with macaroni and ketchup (your token vegetable).
    kottbullar makaroni
  2. Mince fried and served with macaroni. And ketchup.
  3. Lompe with nugatti (Norwegian Nutella)
    lompe nugatti

  4. Cheese toastie made in the waffle iron with lots of piffikrydd and some ketchup. Yum.
    cheese toastie waffle iron

  5. Just meatballs, for the picky ones.

  6. Falukorv with mash. Sliced, fired sausage mixed into the mash. Served with, you guessed it, ketchup.

  7. Hot dogs. Sausages in lompe or hot dog buns –your staple childhood birthday party dish.
    polse i brod

  8. Brown cheese. Just brown cheese, somtimes rolled into little balls. Mmmmm.
    brown cheese

  9. Fiskeboller fish dumplings with potatoes and a sprinkling of mild curry powder. All mashed together to a gloopy, yellow, mess. Boiled carrots or broccoli carefully shoved to the side of the plate.
    fiskeboller med karri

    Pre mashing.

  10. Rye bread with chocolate, slightly toasted so the chocolate melts. YUM.
    paleagschoklad

Remember these or have anything to add? Let us know and we’ll update the list.

We know what we’re having for dinner today!

Matpakke – Norwegian Packed Lunch

September 22, 2016 | Leave a comment

Matpakke – An Intro To a Norwegian Packed Lunch

Ask any Norwegian what they had for lunch in school and the answer will be ‘matpakke’ (or nistepakke) – packed lunch. That’s right, in Norway there’s no school dinners or equivalent. The food you eat, you bring from home.

A packed lunch doesn’t sound bad though? You may envisage lovely fresh salads, crusty baguettes with lots of filling or maybe dinner leftovers. But really, in most cases, it looks something like this;
Norwegian matpakke

Two slices of bread – open sandwiches – with ham and cheese, for example. They come wrapped in greaseproof paper, with the all important mellomleggspapir*  inbetween each open sandwich.

*Mellomleggspapir are rectangular pieces of greaseproof paper bought specifically to keep your sandwiches from sticking to each other. Very often the only thing protecting your jam sandwich from the liver pate. However well-intended, most Norwegians can testify – the mellomleggspapir is usually just a tad too small too form a fully protective layer inbetween each sandwich – but hey – jam and liver pate isn’t too bad (ikke sant?).


Matpakke is such an integrated part of the Norwegian ‘folkesjel’ – people-soul – that we even have a song written about it;

In case your Norwegian is a bit rusty – the gist of the song is that having your food in greaseproof paper instead of on a plate is a bit sad. The toppings are squashed, mixed up and stick to each other. Boo-hoo.


Despite having a ton of toppings to choose from, very many people will have the same topping every day for their entire school-career. 2 slices with salami and mayo every day for 7 years? Done. Tired of it? Yes. Bother changing it? But why would you?

 

matpakke

What your matpakke aspires to be.

Have you got any stories or memories of matpakke? We’d love to hear them.

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Norwegian Matpakke – Tips, Tricks and Insights.

| Leave a comment

Norsk Matpakke – Our top facts, tips and insights about Matpakke

  1. If you’re very lucky, your mum or dad makes it for you.
    They’re usually busy busy in the morning – hence the lack  of variety.
    If you make it yourself, well, having the same every day is part of the charm, ikke sant?
  2. We all secretly love the little notes mamma sometimes write on the paper. ‘Have a lovely day sweetheart’ or ‘ Kisses from mummy’
    matpakke med hilsen fra mamma

  3. Cucumber is never good in matpakke. It goes soft and looses its crunch. Choose pepper for retained crunch.
  4. If having cheese, the key to avoiding dry edges is to ensure the cheese is perfectly bread shaped – ie. tear or cut of any bits hanging of the side. They will go dry. Two of the most popular cheeses in Norway are Norvegia and Nokkelost. Versatile and yummy.

  5. Prefer crispbread for lunch? The two top sellers in Norway are oat – Wasa Havre and wheat/poppy seed – Wasa Frukost (also enjoyed other times of the day). Pack the toppings in clingfilm and assemble when ready to eat to avoid the crispbread going soft.

  6. Mackarel in tomato is great, but it will smell (not to you – just everyone around you).
  7. Liver pate MUST be fully and tightly wrapped or covered by mellomleggspapir* – otherwise it will go brown and dry and not very nice.
  8. Salami – usually mutton salami – goes really well with mayonnaise, but be sure to put the mayo underneath the salami so it doesn’t stick to the mellomleggspapir. 

  9. Ham and cheese is a classic. Perhaps the ultimate packed lunch topping as it can be varied so much (not that anyone ever does this, mind you). Add pesto, some mustard, or perhaps some piffi-spice for a cheese-toastie feeling.
  10. Brown cheese – but of course… Sometimes it can go soft and sticky on very warm days (luckily rarely an issue in Norway) – especially if paired with jam.

    norwegian breakfast brown cheese brunost

    Your average Norwegian classroom (no, not really).

  11. And to drink? Most schools in Norway have a milk-subscription offer – where you pay a small amount for a daily 250 ml of milk that gets delivered to your school. Some schools offer the same with fruit. Every week, one or two people in class – ordenselever* – are responsible for collecting and passing these out to those on the list. Allergic to milk? Bring a bottle – water is encouraged, juice or squash frowned upon by your lærer (teacher).
    Ordenselev fruktordning

*Ordenselever – a title given to one or two pupils who are responsible for keeping the classroom in order – by for example wiping the blackboard between lessons, emptying the recycling – and of course bringing the milk.

Aaah matpakke. Something we love to hate, but nevertheless look forward to every single day – if not for the contents, then just for the fact that it offers a little break. And we get to eat.

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