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Information about the cuisine of Norway

The Kingdom of Norway is situated in Scandinavia, with approximately 4,750,000 inhabitants it's the second smallest of the countries in the region. The country's coastal line is 2650 kilometers long, which makes it quite natural that the local cuisine mainly is based on fish and seafood.

Norway might not have internationally famous dishes as Swedish meatballs, Danish pastries or smorrebrod. But the country truly has many different delicacies to offer.

For instance there's one of Norway's more famous exports, the smoked salmon. The salmon farming industry has developed fast since the 1970s, and the industry itself stands for about 40 % of the total Norwegian fish-product export. In total Norway is one of the world's largest fish exporters.

The smoked salmon is served in many different ways, as it's found throughout the world. For instance you could serve it with scrambled eggs, sandwiches, dill or mustard sauce.

Another version of salmon is the gravlaks which means that the salmon is cured in salt and sugar and often seasoned with dill. This version is also very popular in Sweden under the similar name gravlax or gravad lax.

Apart from the salmon, many kinds of fish, like trout, flounder, cod, turbot, catfish, mackerel, sardines and herring are popular and eaten throughout the country. These are served in many various ways, for instance smoked, boiled, salted and in fish soups. Cod, for one, is often grilled and served with mustard sauce and boiled potatoes.

Shellfish, which of course also has a large place in the local kitchen, has in the recent years increased in popularity, and mussels, prawns, lobster and crabs are widely eaten, especially in the summertime.

Also in the summer or more specificly the 17th of may, Norway celebrates 'syttende mai', the date when Norway claimed it's independence from Sweden in 1814.

This day you may for instance be served a 'koldtbord' or cold table, containing Norwegian meatballs, seafood, stockfish or 'lutefisk', pickled herring, fish balls or 'fiskeballer' aswell as lefse and 'fiskepudding', which is, fish pudding. The party might be rounded of with a strawberry cream cake.

Other important ingredients in Norwegian cooking are milk, sour milk and brown goat's cheese. The Norwegian goat-cheese is very popular, a brown, soft and sweet cheese served mostly on toast. Sandwiches or 'smorbrod' are in general very popular in Norway. Just like in the other countries in the region they are mainly consumed for breakfast and lunch, but in Norway in a much wider scale than it's neighbours.

Further on, vegetables like potatoes, cabbage and peas are widely common. Specialities like grilled deer, stockfish, torrfisk (bacalhau), and herring in various ways, are also eaten throughout the country. Served with those you might find the earlier mentioned lefse, which is thin potato breads. The lefse though, are mainly served with meat, fruit or different vegetables.

The modern Norwegian kitchen, even if it's strongly influenced by traditions has of course evolved and is like many other countries seeing the results of the globalization and immigrants with hamburgers, pizza, pasta, kebab, as well as for instance Asian and Mexican food being a part of the everyday diet.