Tag Archives: norwegian

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
      - +
      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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15 Facts About Cinnamon Buns

September 20, 2016 | Leave a comment

15 Things You Need to know about Cinnamon Buns

This year, as every year, we are celebrating the official Cinnamon Bun day. A national holiday in Sweden (not really, but it should be) – it falls every year on October the 4th and is celebrated by eating cinnamon buns en masse.

For many Scandis, us included – every day is cinnamon bun day. There’s always a reason for a cinnamon bun. It is, as you may know, also referred to as an edible hug. No? Just us then. Because that’s how we feel about it. It is as comforting and warming as a hug from your best friend, a stranger or your dog. Whichever of those you prefer.

As Scandinavians we feel it is our duty to educate those less knowledgeable about this harmonic symbiosis of flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon. This is lesson 1, based on our post from last year (read it here) – we’ll keep it simple.


Cinnamon Buns – Cinnamon  Swirls – Kanelbulle – Kanelsnegle – Skillingsbolle
  1. The cinnamon bun’s origin is a hotly debated topic. The Swedes claim it originated there in the 1920s. Usually, we won’t shy away from a debate, but in this case – it doesn’t matter where it is from. We love it too much. It is a love-child of Scandinavia.
  2. Cinnamon bun day has been celebrated since 1999, and the bun itself didn’t really become popular until the 1950s.
  3. A Nordic cinnamon bun is typically made with a bit of ground cardamom in the dough – this is what differentiates it from other cinnamon buns, such as the over-the-top sticky sweet buns you often see in north America.  with a bit of ground cardamom, which sets them apart from other cinnamon buns on this lovely planet of ours.
  4. A real cinnamon bun (a Scandi one) does not have icing on the top. In Norway, a sprinkle of normal granulated sugar – in Sweden those lovely big-ish sugar crystals called Pearl Sugar.
    kanelbullar cinnamon buns
  5. A typical Swede eats 316 cinnamon buns per year – in our central London cafe we sell about 60 cinnamon buns per day (and we all smell faintly of cinnamon..mm!).
  6. That is roughly 21600 per year.
  7.  If you stack all these buns, the total height would be 648 meters, or roughly the height of the Shanghai Tower, the 2nd tallest building in the world with 632 meters. Only Burj Al Kalifa would be taller, with its 830 meters. (Eat more buns, people!)

    cinnamon bun lenght

    Or, you can bake a really really long one to share.

  8. In Norway (and highly likely elsewhere in Scandinavia too) there are various very important cinnamon bun competitions held every year, where readers of the local newspaper nominate and vote for the best cinnamon bun in town. It is prestigious and competitive, and taken very, very serious.
  9. The same place refers to its cinnamon buns as Skillingsboller – ‘schilling buns’ – referring to the cost of one back in the day.
    cinnamon buns skillingsboller
  10. In Denmark, they are often called ‘cinnamon snails’ – Kanelsnegl’, and in Finland, ‘slapped ear’ – Korvapuusti. Maybe because if someone did slap your ear, a cinnamon bun would be a suitable treat to comfort you in your pain and distress.
  11. Cinnamon buns are made a variety of different ways. You can swirl them and pop them into a little paper case to keep all the buttery sugary gooeyness; do a simple swirl and bake, cut side up, or do a thinner swirl baked cut sides out. We love them all.
  12. The cinnamon bun is perfect – it doesn’t need meddling with. Still, some people make things as the below – a bacon cinnamon bun roll sandwich. Proceed at your own responsibility; we take no responsibility for whatever may come from consuming this (delicious?) concoction.
    Cinnamon roll with bacon
  13. There are two kinds of cinnamon; Ceylon and Cassia. Ceylon is also referred to as sweet cinnamon – or true cinnamon and is the most popular one. It is a bit more expensive than the other, but the taste is miles better. Get it if you can – otherwise your buns won’t be as good.
  14. Cinnamon also contains a substance called coumarin – which can damage the liver if consumed in larger quantities. The Scandinavian countries regularly relish in this fact, purely so they can put a scare cinnamon headline out, such as;
    ‘How to avoid cinnamon-poisoning’
    ‘Be careful with cinnamon’
    ‘Cinnamon buns can damage your liver’But fear not – you would have to eat approximately 10 cinnamon buns per day for an extended period of time to notice anything.
  15. It is Scandifically proven that it is impossible to resist a fresh cinnamon bun still warm from the oven. Try it. Sprinkle with almonds for a nutty taste..mmmm!

    Cinnamon Twists Bronte Aurell ScandiKitchen

    Phoro credit: Peter Cassidy, for Ryland Peters.

Enjoy Bun Day on the 4th October – we want to see your buns, so don’t forget to send us a picture to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk and we’ll post the best ones on facebook and instagram. Prizes for the best looking buns.

Fancy making your own? Check out our recipe for the world’s best cinnamon buns and head to our webshop to buy our cinnamon bun baking kit, containing the essential ingredients you need for a Scandi cinnamon bun.

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The Breakfast Edition; Scandi VS British Breakfast

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.
In Sweden: Crispbread. More crispbread.
In Norway: Various breads or crispbread. The one called Frukost.
In Denmark: Rye bread.

swedish crispbread knackebrod

The Brits top theirs with.. butter and Marmite or jam.
In Sweden: Egg and kaviar, cheese (Aseda graddost)
In Norway: Norvegia cheese or brown cheese.
In Denmark: Cheese. Butter.

Swedish breakfast egg kaviar

The Brits drink..tea or instant coffee.
In Sweden: Black coffee. Proper brewed coffee. Like this one from Zoegas.
In Norway: Black coffee. Sometimes with milk. This one from Friele, for example.
In Denmark: Black coffee. Proper brewed coffee. You get the drill.. we all like real coffee!

Image result for black coffee gif

 

The Brits also drink..orange juice.
In Sweden: Milk, sometimes juice.
In Norway: Milk, juice sometimes.
In Denmark: Milk or juice.

Milk for breakfast in Sweden, Denmark, Norway

 

The Brits who don’t eat bread eats.. cereal.
In Sweden: Filmjolk (a light natural yougurt) with granola or musli and some berries. Or kalaspuffar.
In Norway: Frokostblanding – breakfast mix! Ie., cereal. With banana  if you’re being virtuous.
In Denmark: Skyr or Ymer – a type of natural yogurt – with Ymerdrys – a lovely rye bread crumb cereal. 
swedish breakfast kalaspuffar
For a weekend breakfast, the Brit will have.. a full English (or components thereof).

In Sweden: ALL the crispbread. Several types of bread. Eggs and kaviar, different cheeses, jams, perhaps a ham or pate. Something bun-like. Yogurt pots, fresh fruits, something with egg. Coffee. Juices. Milk. Many many hours, newspapers and good company.

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.

dansk morgenmad danish breakfast

Drool.

 

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.

Look Inside: Fika & Hygge Baking Book

September 8, 2016 | Leave a comment

Our New Book – A Look Inside

Yes, we talk a lot about Fika & Hygge – especially now with our new book officially out. It is a baking book, with recipes from across Scandinavia. From small bakes and biscuits, to celebration cakes and elaborate buns there’s something there for any occasion, small or large – certain to add to the feeling of hygge. In addition, the beautiful pictures makes us all long for winter in Scandinavia (even the non-Scandis!) with crinkly white snow, lots and lots of candles, knitted jumpers and fika-time inside.

Here are a few of the ScandiKitchen staff’s favourite recipes from the book (we were lucky enough to do a lot of cake-testing for this one! All in the name of creating the best baking book possible).

That Banana Cake Therese

‘That banana cake’ is the banana cake we serve in our cafe. Wonderfully moist and full of banana flavour, with a light frosting that perfectly complements the dense cake. Worth hunting down brown bananas for.

Banana Cake - ScandiKitchen

 Sarah Bernard – Biskvier – Martina

Little delectable morsels of chocolate, chocolate cream and a marzipanny base. Unbeatable combination and great with a cup of coffee, or as a simple dessert with a scoop of good quality vanilly ice cream. Super rich – but I somehow manage to squeeze in at least three of these. They take a little time to put together, but the result is worth it!

Sarah Bernhard - ScandiKitchen

Gingerbread with Lingonberry – Roxanne

Soft spiced gingerbread cake layered with cream flavoured with fresh tart lingonberries and a hint of sweetness – just delicious. And very pretty too.

Gingerbread & Lingonberry Cake - ScandiKitchen

 

Have the book? Do let us know if you try any of the recipes – we’d love to hear about it.

Midsummer in Norway – Celebrating St. Hans Eve

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.

sthans-norge-midsummer-norway


 

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.

    Per i Viken Wienerkorv – Wiener Sausages 8-pack
    £4.00
    - +
    Korvbrödsbagarn Korvbröd – Hotdog Buns 10-pack
    £2.00
    - +
    Idun Tomatketchup – Tomato Ketchup 530g
    £3.00
    - +
    Idun Pølsesennep – Mustard 490g
    £3.00
    - +
    Bjørken Lomper 10-pack – Soft Potato Flatbread 260g
    £2.15
    - +
    Bähncke Ristede Løg – Crispy Onions 100g
    £1.50
    - +

 

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).

kroneis midsummer norway

 


 

 

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!)

Egg race Norway

Helmet and protective glasses optional.


Sack-race, individual and in relay teams – 
Racing each other by attempting to jump a (straight) distance in sacks. Also popular on 17. mai;

Sack race - sekkelop norway

A LOT harder than it looks. Face-plant almost guaranteed.


Three-legged race – 
We’re not sure exactly how popular this is (outside yours truly’s childhood neighbourhood) – but nevertheless super fun.
Rules: Find a partner. Tie your right leg to their left leg (or the other way around) so you have to move as if you were one person with three legs. Confused? Good. Race against others with the same set-up. It is fun, we promise.
Three-legged race Noreway midsummer

A Scandinavian Barbecue

May 26, 2016 | Leave a comment

 

Let’s Have a Barbecue – Scandi Style!

Warmer weather and glimpses of sun can only mean one thing – barbecue season is here.

Here’s what you need for a Scandi barbecue.

The nibbles:

Nibbles are important – everyone without a gas barbecue knows this. It always takes about 5 hours to get hot enough to cook anything on so nibbles are crucial to avoid eating each other during the wait.
We like crisps – especially dill chips and sour cream and onion. They’re especially nice with a refreshing dip – such as Estrella Dill dip mix or Holiday.

    Estrella Sourcream & Onion Chips – Sourcream & Onion Crisps 175g
    £2.50
    - +
    Estrella Holiday Dipmix – Onion & Pepper Dip Mix 26g
    £1.20
    Estrella Dillchips – Dill Crisps 175g
    £2.50
    - +

The barbecue bit:

Unless you have a gas barbecue, sausages are the way to go. They cook in less than an hour, are easy to eat standing up, can hold most toppings – and crucially – they taste good even when they’re a bit burnt.
We LOVE the barbecue range from Per I Viken – which includes spicy chorizo, herby Salsiccia and the super savoury Bratwurst. For kids, red hot dogs or classic wienerkorv always go down a treat.

    Per i Viken Salsiccia Korv – Salsiccia Sausage 250g
    £2.80
    Per i Viken Bratwurst 3-pack – Bratwurst Sausage 300g
    £2.00
    Per i Viken BBQ Chorizo Korv – BBQ Chorizo Sausage 250g
    £2.80

    Per i Viken Wienerkorv – Wiener Sausages 8-pack
    £4.00
    - +
    Gøl Røde Pølser – Red Hot Dogs 375g
    £4.80

The bready bits:

Classic sausage buns are a must – the softer sweeter bun contrasts oh so well with the meaty sausages. Norwegians are partial to a thin potato flatbread; lompe, which also works a treat.
Not traditional, but very nice, is Swedish soft flatbread. Take it easy on the toppings, though, as this tends to be more fragile than the other two.

    Polarbrod Sarek – Thin Flatbread 8-pack
    £2.00
    Korvbrödsbagarn Korvbröd – Hotdog Buns 10-pack
    £2.00
    - +
    Bjørken Lomper 10-pack – Soft Potato Flatbread 260g
    £2.15
    - +

The condiments:

A barbecue needs a good range of condiments. Ketchup, several types of mustard, pickles, remoulade, mayonnaise, skagenrora (if you’re from Gothenburg), and crispy onions are absolutely non-negotiable; we like everything at once, but if you fancy a slightly lighter version we recommend you try one of the following combos:

The Swede: Ketchup, mustard, bostongurka and crispy onions. In a bun.
The Dane: Remoulade. Other bits, optional.
The Norwegian: Ketchup, mustard, crispy onions. In lompe.

    Johnnys Senap Sötstark – Hot and Sweet Mustard 500g
    £3.30
    Bähncke Stærk Sennep – Sharp Mustard 380g
    £3.00
    - +
    Bähncke Hotdog Ketchup 405g
    £3.00
    - +
    ScandiKitchen Skagenröra – Seafood Salad 200g
    £3.00
    - +
    Felix Bostongurka – Pickled Cucumber Relish 375g
    £2.65
    - +
    Beauvais Agurkesalat – Pickled Cucumber 550g
    £2.90
    - +
    K-Salat Remoulade – Sweet Piccalilli Sauce 375g
    £3.00
    - +
    K-Salat Mayonnaise 375g
    £3.00
    - +
    Bähncke French Dog Dressing 380g
    £3.00

Drinks;

Cold beers and soft drinks.

    Ringnes Solo – Orange Soft Drink 330ml
    £2.00
    - +
    Nils Oscar God Lager 5.3% – Beer 330ml
    £2.30
    Hansa Pilsner Beer 6x500ml
    £14.00
    - +

Other bits; An umbrella. A kitchen ready to take over the cooking should the barbecue fail you. More snacks, something sweet to finish with – such as pick and mix and gifflar.

    Pick’n’Mix WITH Liquorice 200g
    £2.50
    - +
    Pågen Kanelgifflar – Mini Cinnamon Buns 265g
    £2.00
    - +
    Ahlgrens Bilar Original – Fruity Marshmallow Sweets 125g
    £1.90

To view our Barbecue corner – click here. Happy barbecuing!

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?

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Waffle-Day & Useful Info About Scandinavian Waffles

March 23, 2016 | Leave a comment

Waffle-Day & Useful Info About Scandinavian Waffles

Waffles are a big thing in Scandinavia. Thin and heart-shaped they come with a boatload of strong opinions on how to eat them, when to eat them and what to put on them. There are as many opinions as there are recipes – as many recipes as there are waffle-lovers.

One thing we all agree on is how we feel about them. Waffles are – it seems – a truly nostalgic thing. Something we all remember from our childhoods. From a fika with the family, a well deserved break in the (not-so) strenuous Sunday hike, a treat in between matches in the annual week-long summer football tournament, or from any given Wednesday at your lovely, lovely work-place (where waffles often appear on Wednesdays for some unknown reason).

You may have some questions about waffles and why we waffle (pardon the pun?) on so much about them. That’s ok. Your waffle-fears may now be put to rest – we’re here to educate you about Scandinavian waffles.

1. What is a Scandinavian waffle and how is it different from a Belgian Waffle?

A Scandinavian waffle differs from the Belgian in many ways, most notably is the shape. Scandinavian waffles are thinner, and typically consist of 4-5 heart shapes joint in a ring, as opposed to the rectangular Belgian version. Heart-shaped = even lovelier, of course.
scandinavian waffle vs belgian waffle
The batter is also different – Scandinavian waffles tend to have a less sweet batter, often with a sour component such as sour cream. They should be crispy and slightly buttery with a slightly sweet flavour.

2. Why do we celebrate the Waffle-day on the 25th of March?

Good question! Waffle-day is originally a Swedish thing, and the reason it is on the 25th of March is that the Swedish word for Waffle day – Våffeldagen – sounds very similar to ‘Vårfrudagen’ (Our lady’s day), which is the day Jesus was ‘conceived’. 25th of March = 9 months before Christmas Day.
‘But of course!’, the Swedes thought, ‘we need a dedicated waffle day but it would be confusing to have two days with such a similar sounding name. Let’s combine the two and make it one super-holiday where we can celebrate the beginning of Jesus AND eat waffles.’
(Did we mention how much we love the Swedes?) There you have it – a phonetic phenomenon is the reason for waffle-day being when it is. And some lovely Swedish logic.

3. What can I put on my waffle?

In Scandinavia, most people choose sweet toppings, including a variety of jams, whipped cream or fresh fruit and berries in summer. Waffles are not necessarily limited to sweet toppings though – try creme fraiche and smoked salmon for a lovely savoury waffle.

 

Here are 5 other ways to eat Scandinavian waffles;
  1. Waffle with brown cheese – melting, tangy/sweet brown cheese on a mildly sweet, waffle hot from the griddle. It is a beautiful thing. Top with raspberry jam for a sweeter finish. A Norwegian speciality. No, you can’t swap the jam. Some people also eat waffles with brown cheese and kaviar (yep – this stuff).
    Brunost_vaffel brown cheese waffle
  2. Hot-dog in waffle. Yep, you read that right. A steamed wiener-sausage wrapped in a sweet waffle. It’s a staple in Moss (in the middle of nowhere) and the Norwegian equivalent to a certain Gordon Ramsay is rumoured to be the man behind it, when he as a young boy worked in his uncle’s hot dog stand. Sounds odd, tastes delicious. Slightly sweet waffle paired with a savoury, meaty sausage. Yum!
    hot dog waffles
  3. Waffle with whipped cream and wild strawberries. This indulgence screams summer. Tiny, sweet, intensely flavoured wild strawberries – called smultron in Swedish with a ligthly sweetened whipped cream. Just..pure tastebud-waffle-bliss. In lack of smultron you can sub your favourite fresh seasonal fruit or berries or a good quality jam at a pinch.
    vaffel med rømme og syltetøy - waffle with sour cream and jam
  4. Waffle with butter. Yours truly – Martina, in this case – has the following method of ensuring the perfect amount of butter on the waffle; ‘Think of the little diamond dents in the waffles as windows. The goal of buttering it is to light up each window. In other words, fill each dent with lovely salted butter. This is tooth-butter meet waffle. A sprinkling of sugar if you so desire – then tuck in.
    vaffel med smør - scandinavian waffle
  5. Waffle with jam and sour cream. Your favourite sweet jam and a dollop of thick sour cream. Delicious. You will have more than one – just give in already. Napkin at the ready!
    vaffel med rømme og syltetøy - waffle with sour cream and jam

Now we want to hear your waffle-memories.

Perhaps you spent a summer frying waffles day in and day out to feed the hordes of hungry tween-agers playing football?

Or you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share? A favourite topping? Do let us know – we’d love to learn more.

Fancy waffles? We do, too.. Here’s our favourite recipe for crispy Swedish waffles, the recipe is a sneakpeek from ou new cookbook (out later this year). Or for instant waffle-satisfaction, shop our waffle mixes here – there’s even a gluten-free version there.

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