September 22, 2016 | Leave a comment
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;
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?
Have you got any stories or memories of matpakke? We’d love to hear them.
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Norsk Matpakke – Our top facts, tips and insights about Matpakke
*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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September 15, 2016 | Leave a comment
Breakfast, Frokost, Morgenmad, Frukost.
As the saying goes (well, in Scandinavia at least), dear child bears many names. We love breakfast. It is often the main reason we go to bed at night – to fast forward to another lovely meal. Best enjoyed with big yawns, squinty eyes and coffee-hungry brains.
Fun-fact: In Sweden and Norway, breakfast is called Frukost/Frokost. The same word means lunch in Denmark. In Denmark, breakfast is called morgenmad – morning food. So naturally, a lot of confusion arises around the two first meals of the day when Scandis visit each other. Frokost? Nej mand, it is way too early. Frokost? Vad då, it is far too late!
Ah, the stress!
Important-fact: 1 of 3 children in the UK don’t have breakfast. We are working with charity Magic Breakfast to reduce this number – please read more here about this important cause.
Whatever you call it, the first meal of the day is important, and each country has its own traditions. Scandinavian breakfasts differs a lot from the British – so, because we know you’ve been wondering, let us present – some basic differences between British breakfasts vs Scandi breakfasts .
The Brits have.. toast.
The Brits drink..tea or instant coffee.
The Brits also drink..orange juice.
The Brits who don’t eat bread eats.. cereal.
In Norway: Several types of bread. Toaster handy. Fresh rolls. Norvegia and brown cheese. Boilt eggs. Ham and chopped up cucumber and red pepper. Tomatoes. Jams. Pate. Basically – your entire fridge. Milk and juice to drink. Coffee AND tea. Many many hours, the radio in the background and good company.
In Denmark: Fresh rolls from the baker – at least one per person plus a Danish pastry and white bread, which is never normally eaten. Rye bread. Cheeses and jams and marmalade. OR a full on Scandi brunch with scrambled eggs, bacon, all the sandwich toppings in the fridge. Juice and milk, tea and coffee. Perhaps a shot of Gammel Dansk (a digestif) or three if it is a special occasion.
There you have it. The full low down on Scandi breakfasts. Fancy it? To shop Scandi favourite cheeses, jams, coffees and more have a look in our webshop – click here.
June 16, 2016 | Leave a comment
Midsummer in Norway – Celebrating St. Hans (St. John’s)
Midsummer is usually not called midsummer in Norway, but St. Hans after the evangelist John (called Johannes in Norwegian; Hans is the shortened form). Originally two separate celebrations, they have now – for most people – merged into one.
St. Hans day is the 24th of June every year, and the celebrations are held on St. Hans’ eve – the 23rd. It is not a national holiday – but most people mark it in some way or another. Traditionally celebrated with a huge bonfire, or out on the fjord if you’re lucky enough to have a boat or know someone who does.
Bonfires are set up in many neighbourhoods, and is usually accompanied by a barbecue feast and beers – hot dogs in lompe, with ketchup, mustard and crispy onions.
Ice cream for afters (often, the inaccurately named Kroneis (Norway’s cornetto – name translated to 10p-ice cream, but it costs the equivalent to £2).
A typical St. Hans celebrations often includes playing games – here are some of our favourites:
Egg-racing; race each other whilst balancing an egg on a spoon held in your mouth (hardboiling the egg beforehand makes it easier – but it’s more fun when you risk it with a raw one!)
April 27, 2016 | 2 Comments
24 ways to be more Norwegian
March 30, 2016 | Leave a comment
Norwegian Words to Describe Weather
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;
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?
February 26, 2015 | 19 Comments
Image: The utterly brilliant satwcomic.com
The best untranslatable Scandi words you need to include in your everyday use from now on and forever
We have some great words that deserve to be used. Thank you to everybody who wrote in with suggestions – we got far too many words to use them all, but we have included our best ones here.
(pronounced [ˈlɑ̀ːɡɔm]). A very Swedish word. It means not too much, not too little. Just the right amount. You can have a lagom amount of coffee, for example. How many meatballs do you want? Lagom, please. Your shower can be lagom hot. Your coffee lagom strong. It expresses a sense of balance and satisfaction with having your needs met without needing excess.
A Swedish word meaning ‘messy hair after having sex’. Yes, we have a word for that. ‘Hi Brenda, you have knullrufs today – I guess your date went well last night?’
An old Sami word meaning ‘the distance reindeer can travel before needing to urinate’. Used as a distance measure, as in “ There’s a Poronkusema to his house’ (7 kilometres, in case you were wondering).
A Swedish word meaning ‘ to meet up for a cup of coffee and a bun/cake. You can Fika as a noun or verb – to fika or go for a fika. It’s casual, but you can fika with your friends, or even have a fika date. You can fika with colleagues at work or even fika with your family. It’s a social thing: you can’t really fika alone.
The ultimate Danish word. It means a state of lovely cosiness, on your own or with people you like. Doesn’t have to involve food, but it involves good feelings and happiness. You can hygge in front of the telly, or you can hygge at the local café. In front of the log fire with a good book is a nice place to hygge, too.
Same word in Norwegian is Koselig.
A Danish word, meaning ‘tooth butter’. Meaning: There is so much butter on your bread that your teeth leave bitemarks.
Sambo and Mambo
In Sweden, if you live with your partner, you have a sambo. Samman = together and Bo = live. If you live at home with your mother, you Mambo. Yes, really.
A great Finnish word, literally: a comma fucker. A pedant; a person who corrects trivial or meaningless things. A person who believes it is their destiny to stamp out all spelling and punctuation mistakes. As in ‘Seriously, don’t be such a pilkunnussija’.
A Danish dialect word that describes feeling under the weather, a little bit tired and just not quite right and have no desire for food. (Pronounced with a soft j, not a hard one).
A brilliant Norwegian word that simply means: To sit outside and enjoy a beer.
A Finnish word that means: “I wonder if I should run around aimlessly?”
Norwegian. Literally, Cable Salad. When all your cables and leads are mixed together.
Norwegian and Danish word that means: That intoxicatingly euphoric feeling you experience when you’re first falling in love. Pre-real-love. More than fancy, less than love.
A Swedish word, meaning ‘lens louse’ – Someone who always wants to have their face in a photo.
Swedish. To steal fruit off trees. Eg. ‘Hey Kalle, let’s go palla in Andersson’s garden– they have pear trees and plums, too’.
No doubt word enthusiasts will now email us saying the English word is “scrumping”. But as far as we could work out, you can only scrump apples. Let us know if we’re wrong about that, though.
The Danish word for ‘clearance sale’ (you can find this one almost always somewhere written largely across the store’s front windows). Literally: Race to the end.
Swedish word, literally meaning Squeeze Day. If there is a bank holiday then a working day and then another day off, that working day will become a ‘squeeze day’ – and we’ll all be off work.
A Danish word for gossiping and chitchat. (The d is soft)
What you call someone who has had sex with someone you’ve already had sex with. A useful Swedish word.
Swedish for ‘ungoogleable’ – something you cannot Google.
Orka / Orke
Danish, Swedish, Norwegian: This verb is a tremendously common word meaning “to have the energy”: ‘Do you orka to go into Oxford Street this weekend? No, Kalle, I don’t orkar it’.
A Swedish word, literally meaning “attitude incontinence,” meaning: Inability to keep one’s opinions to oneself. As in: ‘Sorry for that long comment I left on your page, I guess I had a case of attitydinkontinens.’
Swedish. Every Friday, we do this: Fredagsmys means Friday Cosy. Eat nice food, sweets, get cosy. Only on Fridays, though. Usually involves tacos (for some reason).
Swedish for someone who refuses to enter the water. As in: ‘Get in the lake, you badkruka’.
Swedish – to wake up in the morning with the purpose of going out to hear the birds sing.
What a great collection of words – feel free to add more in the comments.
Bye for now
The Kitchen People
November 18, 2014 | 1 Comment
And you never, EVER, allow anyone who isn’t Norwegian to call your Kvikk Lunsj a ‘Kit-Kat’.
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.
The Grandiosa is the best pizza ever. Italy has nothing on the Grandiosa. Nothing.
Meat is cheaper in Sweden, so it’s worth crossing that border for meat. And booze. And everything else. Everything is cheaper in Sweden.
But of that you shall never speak openly.
(Denmark will never be better than Norway at anything. Apart from its easy availability of booze. Which you can talk about).
Perfect for occasions such as being in temperatures of -20, Eurovision, fishing and crossing the border to acquire meat.
Yes, it itches, but that’s part of the charm. You’ll keep telling yourself. A lot.
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.
Also required: curly hair and a fake moustache, plus socks and sandals. Harry Enfield’s Scousers are your style icons.
Unless you’re having Grandiosa, then it’s okay not to have Tacos. TACOS!
And fermented trout – that you should also get down with.
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’).
This basically just means ‘The South’. Copenhagen counts. Or Oslo, if you’re from Trondheim.
We do that here in the UK too, but we don’t have the word for it.
Photo Richard Sagen
On this day, purchase seven more flags to your collection. Wave them all around.
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.
It’s a thing.
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.