Tag Archives: norge

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.

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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.
      Tine Nøkkelost – Cheese with Cloves 500g
      £8.00
      Tine Norvegia – Mild Cheese 500g
      £7.50
      Tine Gudbrandsdalen Brunost – Brown Cheese 500g
      £8.00

  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.
      Wasa Husman – Traditional Rye Crispbread 260g
      £1.65
      - +
      Wasa Havre – Oat Crispbread 280g
      £2.75
      - +
      Wasa Frukost – Wheat Crispbread 240g
      £2.00
      - +

  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. 
      Stabburet Makrell I Tomat – Mackerel in Tomato 170g
      £3.50 £2.80
      - +
      Stabburet Leverpostei – Liver Paté 100g
      £1.90 £1.50
      - +
      Mills Ekte Majones – Mayonnaise 170g
      £3.00 £2.40
      - +

  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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It Is Waffle Weekend

June 30, 2016 | Leave a comment

It Is Waffle Weekend – Scandinavian Waffles (again)

We love waffles, we love to talk about them a lot –  and we are going to talk about them some more. Here are some tips for how you can eat them this summer.

Waffle maker with toppings

 

Nothing implies summer more than warm newly made waffles – topped with whipped cream and jam. But there are a variety of different toppings that can go on a waffle – here you can read more about the different ways to eat waffles.

Waffles with whipped cream and jam

And here is a lovely recipe for our favourite waffles.

Yummy, this make us want to have some waffles now – don’t you?

17. Mai – What – Why – How?

May 12, 2016 | 1 Comment

How to 17.Mai like a Norwegian

17th of May what?

17th of May is the National Day of Norway and celebrates the day Norway got its own constitution, in 1814. It is a day where Norwegians parade around wearing woollen dresses and wave flags whilst eating hot dogs and ice cream.

Why is it such a big deal?

From early 1400s to 1814, Norway was in a union with Denmark where the Danes had most of the say (this period is often referred to as the 400-year night in Norway). In 1814, following the loss of the Napoleon war (King of Denmark was allied with Napoleon)  Norway was taken from Denmark and gifted to Sweden. This union lasted until 1905.

In other words, Norway is a historically young country and the national day is celebrated greatly across the country. It’s a big deal – and Norwegians are generally very patriotic.

So.. How do I celebrate it?

What to wear:

  1. You need a bunad. If you haven’t got one, your finest suit or dress is also acceptable – especially if you go with the Norwegian colour-scheme of red, white and blue. At the very least, pop a ribbon on yourself.
    17 mai bunader
  2. Norwegian flag. Get yourself a Norwegian hand-waving flag and wave it all day. Swap arms if you get tired, place it in your pocket or bag if you absolutely cannot wave any more – but remember – the flag must never ever point downwards (treason!).
    17mai parade norway

What to do and eat:

  1. Wake up at the crack of dawn, out on your bunad and have a lovely champagne breakfast with friends and family. Scrambled eggs, salmon, sour cream porridge, cured ham, strawberries and at least one cake plus bubbles is the least you can expect (sounds nice? Join our brunch in Southwark Park on Tuesday!)
    17. mai frokost breakfast
  2. Say ‘Gratulerer med dagen‘ (congratulations) to everyone.
  3. Practice your straight back and patriotic face for all the singing of ‘ Ja vi elsker’.
  4. (Have children? Buy them an expensive balloon and tie it around their wrist. Do not be surprised when you see it travel up, up, up and away in ten minutes. Yep – that’s £5 gone and your little one crying.)
  5. Eat ice cream. And hot dogs (pølse).
    17 mai polse og is softis

 

Gratulerer med dagen!

Fancy joining us for brunch in Southwark Park (London) this Tuesday? Pre-booking only – for bubbles and a lovely spread of freshly made 17. mai treats. 

    17th May Brunch & Bubbles in Southwark Park
    £17.95

If you have any questions do give us a call on 0207 998 3199 or email shop@scandikitchen.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

24 Ways To Be More Norwegian

April 27, 2016 | 2 Comments

24 ways to be more Norwegian

  1. If someone asks you how you are, be honest. Having a rubbish time? Elaborate in great detail – and do not under any circumstances try to make it less awkward.

    Anyway awkward reaction
  2. When having a conversation, about anything, make sure to say ‘ikke sant’ a lot. It is a bit like the English use ‘right’. Depending on your intonation, ‘ikke sant’ can mean a range of different things (most on a spectre of ‘Yes – I agree wholeheartedly’); including but not limited to:
    – Ikke sant. Yes, I agree
    – Ikke sant? Do you agree?
    – Ikke Sant! YES
    – Ikke SANT? You’re kidding
    – Ikke sant. Yes, yes
    – Ikke sant?! I hear ya

    ikke sant

    illustration by Jenny Blake

     

  3. Always bring a matpakke (packed lunch) – yes you could be more adventurous and stop having those 4 slices of bread with sweaty cheese or smelly salami, but why would you?
    Norwegian packed lunch
  4. In autumn, winter and Easter time, never ever go hiking without a kvikk lunsj in your bag.
    kvikk lunsj
  5. Avoid looking directly at your fellow citizens in all urban areas. That includes pavements, public transport and inside shops.

    avoid eyecontact norwegians
  6. But remember to say Hei hei to everyone when hiking or on a Sunday stroll (manners!).
  7. Every spring, make an excuse not to partake in Dugnad (where everyone living in a block of flats, for example, get together to tidy up the communal areas).
    avoiding dugnad
  8. Eat tacos every Friday. It’s the national dish of Norway, didn’t you know?
    tacofredag norway
  9. If you live close to the Swedish border, drive across the border on meat-safari (fleskesafari).
    nordmenn svenskehandel fleskesafari
  10. Never, ever, admit to a Swede being better than a Norwegian at anything. Especially not skiing.
  11. If a Swede beats a Norwegian at skiing it is always because of ‘Smørekrise’ (the way the skis are prepped, depending on conditions). It has nothing to do with the athletes themselves you see. Blame the kit.
    norway vs sweden skiing

    Best friends

     

  12. Own at least one hi tech brightly coloured coat to protect you from the elements. Wear this every day, in any weather – in Norwegian it is called All Weather Jacket (allværsjakke).
    allvaersjakke norwegian
  13. Make sure to stare at people who go hiking in jeans. They are usually tourists and are not informed of the hiking dress-code.
    glaring
  14. Every summer, travel to Syden and get a sunburn. Syden = anywhere south of your home town (but usually excludes Scandinavia).
    sunburn norway
  15. Do not be alarmed if someone starts begging you to let them jump in front of you in the supermarket queue – this is completely normal and usually occurs at five to no-more-alcohol-today (no alcohol can be bought in shops after 8pm ever).

    please let me queue jump norwegian
  16. Never, ever, ask someone to pass you something at the table. Just stretch your arms and lean across. One does not bother people by asking them to pass anything.
    reaching across table
  17. Always say Takk for maten (thanks for the food), or mamma will be most upset.
    happy mum
  18. Go to your cabin – Dra på hytta – every weekend. Sure, you’ll spend 4 hours in your car each way but on hytta you must.
    norwegian hytte
  19. Own at least one Norwegian flag.
    norwegian flag
  20. Remember to ‘kose deg’! Literally – cosy you – enjoy and indulge in whatever. A bun with your coffee, an ice cream in the sun, all the sweets on a Friday night.
    kose seg fredagskos
  21. As soon as the sun comes out, run outside and smile yourself silly. Have utepils. Do not, under any circumstances, stay inside on a sunny day.
    enjoying the sunshine
  22. Say Yes in English (but spell it jess).
  23. Drink a lot of coffee. And milk. A glass of milk with every meal.
    mr melk norway
  24. Eat a lot of pølse. Travelling by train? Have a pølse. In the airport? Have a pølse. Watching the footy? Have a pølse. Celebrating the day Norway got its own constitution? Pølse it is.
    polse i brod

    Anything else you can do to be more Norwegian? Let us know in the comments!Wish you were Norwegian? There’s a T-shirt for that. Enter code ‘scandilife10’ at checkout to get 10% off!

Glossary: Norwegian Words – Topic: Weather

March 30, 2016 | Leave a comment

Norwegian Words to Describe Weather

  1. Værfast; literally, weather stuck. If one finds oneself stuck in torrential rain, howling winds or wintry snow storms. Then you are weather stuck. For example, you said you would go and meet your friend but it is raining so much you can’t (won’t) go outside. You can tell your friend you are weather stuck.

    cat stuck in bad weather - værfast
  2. Opphold – literally, break. Mostly used in Bergen (aka Rain City) where the weather is either rain or simply a break from the rain. Rain is the normal, anything else is an exception.

    bergen regn rain opphold

    This lady is dressed for the rain. Notice the blue sky – this is a prime example of opphold.

     

  3. Surt – literally, sour. Yep, in Norway the weather can be sour. It means it is bone-chillingly cold, usually with some wind and a wet feel, too. Not very nice.
    surt var
  4. Bikkjekaldt – Literally, dog cold. When it is so cold the dogs won’t go outside. Usually when it creeps below -10 degrees.

    bikkjekaldt dog with a coat

    Not too cold with a coat.

     

  5. Sludd / Slaps – the kind of snow most commonly seen in South England, that melts before it hits the ground. Known for creating thick layers of ‘sørpe’ or ‘slaps’ which are dense, ice cold build ups on the ground of really. Really. really wet snow. Wet and cold feet alert level 10.

    slaps-sludd wet feet
  6. Påskevær – Literally, Easter weather. What this actually means is ‘every weather type known to man in the space of 30 minutes.’ And repeat. Beautiful warming sun, hail storm, icy winds, tropical rain all common. A very hard weather type to dress for. Cold, hot, perfect, wet, warm, chilly, sweaty – you’ll cover all bases.
    Paskevær all weathers in one day
  7. Sommervær – summer weather; again this is a highly fluid concept, however we can apply some ground rules. Between April and June, this means any dry day of 13 degrees and over and at least one observed ray of sun. June to August we are a bit more picky and should be pushing 23 (17 if you are in Bergen). Sun a must (unless you’re in Bergen where 2. Opphold, will do) Long, light nights present for both. Unless it’s raining, of course.
    sommervær norwegian summer cold

 

And a few events and activities we would like to bring your attention to, as their names may lead you to think you are guaranteed a certain temperature or weather type. Consider yourself warned;

  • Utepils – you may already know this one. Utepils is a thing to do – it means having a beverage, preferably a beer (pils=lager), outside. You would think this implies the conditions are warm and summery, but no. Utepils-weather is anything not raining (opphold) and above freezing. In March, for example, utepils can be had in 4 degrees, sun and icy winds. In August, in 20 degrees and a mild breeze. Blankets optional but advisable in the former. Utepils is something of an obsession, and it must be done as soon as possible when the sun comes out in spring.

And remember; if you have committed to Utepils you cannot change your mind. It is NOT too cold. You don’t need to feel your toes or your bum anyway.
utepils cold weather norway

  • 17.Mai – This is the national day of Norway. 17th of May – yep, sounds like it should be a warm late spring/early summer’s day, but it usually snows in either Bergen or Oslo, and the inhabitants of each city are extremely smug if it is the other one, this year. Luckily the Norwegian national costume (the bunad) is made of very prickly wool to keep you warm, should it snow.

    snowy 17.mai oslo
  • Midtsommer /Sankthans Aften – Midsummer, late in June. In Norway marked by a huge bonfire, we think it is because this night is never as warm as it sounds. Bring a blanket just in case and stay close to the fire.
    sankthans norge danmark

 

Last but not least; there is no such thing as bad weather. Only poor clothing.

Finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær!

Fancy some Norwegian food maybe?

Get 10% off your first order – just enter ‘scandilife10’ at checkout.  

 

 

 

 

Ways to be more Norwegian

November 18, 2014 | 1 Comment

When you ‘gå på tur’ (go for a hike) you always bring a Kvikk Lunsj and an orange.

And you never, EVER, allow anyone who isn’t Norwegian to call your Kvikk Lunsj a ‘Kit-Kat’.


6a00e5521f4a68883401a511b303bc970c-800wi

Eat brunost. Enthuse about brunost.

Wonder why no one else eats a brown cheese made from whey that looks like brown Plasticine but tastes of caramel and sheer happiness when sliced and put on top of warm waffles that you’ve made yourself in your heart-shaped waffle iron using batter you keep in your fridge for every occasion that requires waffles.

 

6a00e5521f4a68883401a3fd035912970b-800wi

Eat a frozen pizza called the Grandiosa. Enthuse about a frozen pizza called the Grandiosa.

The Grandiosa is the best pizza ever. Italy has nothing on the Grandiosa. Nothing.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a511b3039c970c-800wi

Sweden is good for one thing – the fleske-safari (meat safari).

Meat is cheaper in Sweden, so it’s worth crossing that border for meat. And booze. And everything else. Everything is cheaper in Sweden.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a511b30376970c-800wi

 

Sweden will never be better than Norway at anything. Apart from the price of everything.

But of that you shall never speak openly.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a73dbe2a50970d-800wi

(Denmark will never be better than Norway at anything. Apart from its easy availability of booze. Which you can talk about).

Wear cool genser jumpers like this.

Perfect for occasions such as being in temperatures of -20, Eurovision, fishing and crossing the border to acquire meat.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a3fd035935970b-800wi

Wear the ‘bunad’ national dress as if you were born in it.

Yes, it itches, but that’s part of the charm. You’ll keep telling yourself. A lot.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a73dbe27e6970d-800wi

 

If you’re well known for something, become a Norgesvenn – a famous friend of Norway.

Norgesvenner in the past included the late Roald Dahl and Leroy from Fame. Today, Linda Evans from Dynasty, Bonnie Tyler and A1 have the honour.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a73dbe2ca4970d-800wi

In the summer, partake in a ‘Grillfest’. For this you should wear a ‘Grilldress’, which is a shellsuit in bright colours.

Also required: curly hair and a fake moustache, plus socks and sandals. Harry Enfield’s Scousers are your style icons.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a3fd035994970b-800wi

Celebrate Taco Friday at home. Every Friday.

Unless you’re having Grandiosa, then it’s okay not to have Tacos. TACOS!

6a00e5521f4a68883401a73dbe2739970d-800wi

 

Eat boiled sheep’s head, dried lamb sticks or cod preserved in lye.

And fermented trout – that you should also get down with.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a73dbe2acf970d-800wi

 

Hyttetur. Every weekend, go to a cabin. Any cabin.

If you don’t have a cabin near a fjord, go to your garden shed, even if you live in a bedsit in Hackney. Also, on the way, make sure to repeat point 1. (If you’re in Hackney, we sell Kvikk Lunsj at ScandiKitchen.) Use motivating sentences such as ‘Ut på tur, aldri sur’ (literally: ‘out on a hike, never angry’).

 

6a00e5521f4a68883401a3fd0356a3970b-800wi

Every summer, go to Syden for two weeks vacation.

This basically just means ‘The South’. Copenhagen counts. Or Oslo, if you’re from Trondheim.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a73dbe2ade970d-800wi

Use the term ‘Utepils’, meaning ‘to sit outside and have a beer, even if the sun just came out four minutes ago’.

We do that here in the UK too, but we don’t have the word for it.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a73dbe2af3970d-800wi

Photo Richard Sagen

Flags. Celebrate your flag, every day of the year and especially on 17th May.

On this day, purchase seven more flags to your collection. Wave them all around.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a511b309d0970c-800wi

Norwegians are born with skis on their feet.

Uncomfortable for the mothers, but useful once they learn to stand up and navigate down snow covered mountains. If you can’t ski, don’t move to Norway.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a511b3052c970c-800wi

 

Enjoy your hotdog wrapped in a potato pancake.

It’s a thing.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a73dbe2b65970d-800wi

And finally: 17th May – ‘Syttende Mai’.

6a00e5521f4a68883401a3fd035d19970b-800wi

Celebrate Norway’s national day on 17th May. No exceptions.

You are proud of Norway. 17th May is the most important day of the year, better than Christmas, birthday and Eurovision put together. The Norwegian Constitution Day is a day celebrated by all Norwegians and Norgesvenner (see above).

Get up, eat Norwegian food, wear a bunad (see above), sing songs about how much you love Norway. Wave flags around a lot. Ice cream. Waffles (see above). Brown cheese (see above). Repeat. Follow with alcohol (possibly purchased in Sweden). Forget how you got home, but wake up loving Norway.

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