This is my fourth year of living in Norway and you should think that Norway's National Day isn't a big deal for me anymore, except that this year was the first one I got to spend in my new home of Stavanger! Having spent it in cold and rainy (and one year even snowy) Tromsø in previous years, I had high hopes of lovely weather and warm temperatures for the day - which, except for the coastal wind, was a wish come true!
Berlin is an odd mix of German and Soviet influences, with some neighbourhoods being more Turkish or Arabic. Did you know, however, that you can also enjoy the Scandi feeling in Berlin? After all, the city is located just a quick flight from Stockholm, Oslo and co.!So when visiting Berlin this past December, I made it my mission to find more Scandi influences in the city and found 8 hangouts you will definitely enjoy if you're into Scandinavia and the Nordics!
But “Advent” is also the name for the period leading up to Christmas, and in Norway there are some special customs to be followed during these weeks. For instance, it’s common to light a candle on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and then light another candle each Sunday until the big day. These candles are often left in windowsills, so they can shine out at passers-by. Driving through a town or village at night, and seeing these little lights winking at you from every house, is a truly magical experience.
Apart from the cosy wooden market huts, where you can buy chocolate, cured ham, smoked salmon and Christmas decorations, there is a farmer’s market with local fresh produce, delicious cheese, jam and, my personal favourite, herbed butter. There are also concerts, theatrical plays, quizzes, and mysteries. Lastly, you’ll find the most unique cafe in a huge Sami tent, a lavvo tent, where you’ll be able to enjoy special Christmas beer or hot chocolate. It’s magic!
Consisting of cake, cream and jello, this cake basically is a calorie bomb which is probably also why it's called "bestemorskake" (Grandmother's cake) in Norwegian cause let's be honest, aren't all our grandmothers trying to spoil us with hearty food all the time?It probably won't do you any good if you're still trying to fit into that tiny bikini that's been gathering dust in your wardrobe all winter but it's delicious!
If you've seen my latest vlog, you might know that Norway's National Day on May 17 this year was a rather wet one in Tromso. That didn't stop us from having fun though and I brought my point and shoot camera along to take a few snaps from the parade and also shot our traditional champagne breakfast earlier that day. As a result, I was left with a few pictures that I think, summarize what 17th May in Norway is all about pretty well.
Quick and easy is my motto when it comes to cooking and baking and you might feel the same way! Long story short, I'd been planning to make a traditional Norwegian blødkake tarte for the 17th May National Day celebrations but that would have required a whole lot of time that I simply don't have! So when I stumbled upon a recipe for cheese cake in a jar, I knew I had to try this instead!
I guess I've become really Norwegian in the way that I have to go outside when the weather is good to soak up as much sunshine as possible - even if it's -10 degrees. With long and dark winters, you really learn to appreciate the short summers and sunny days much more and use them much better!And now that the snow starts to melt, I really can't wait to get back into hiking!
Now I'm not sure whether "pancake cakes" are actually authentically Swedish. Simon's only remark was "I'm half-Swedish and I have never heard about this before". Yeah, now he's suddenly so proud of his Swedish heritage but when I tell him that I want to move to Sweden he suddenly becomes very Norwegian again... Anyhow, I have to admit that I've seen cakes like this on a hygge comfort food book cover before so I question its deep-rooted Swedish origin as well. But they looked good and they certainly tasted good!
It’s almost Christmas and time to tell you how we Norwegians spend Christmas! Christmas for me has become less about the presents and more about the food. Therefore, that’s where we will start. There are generally three types of food that are connected with Christmas and those are Svineribbe (pork ribs), Pinnekjøtt (lamb meat) and Lutefisk (Lutefish).
Have you ever wondered about Norwegian myths and our fascination with trolls?
Let’s start with the obvious. What are trolls? Trolls are actually a collective name for many different humanoid creatures. They can be traced all the way back to Norse mythology. Their looks and attributes vary from source to source but they are usually depicted as stupid and dangerous.
Are you excited for Christmas yet or do you need the special Nordic extra to get you in the holiday spirit? Well I certainly hope that you enjoy baking as I'm sharing a recipe for typically Scandic Christmas goodies today: Lussekatter! Now lussekatter literally translate to lucy cats but what they really are is safran buns that are typically eaten in Sweden, Norway and Denmark to celebrate St. Lucia.
When you hear the words "Norwegian fashion", do you think of reindeer sweaters and Christmas? Well, no one blames you! Norwegians are indeed known for their rather casual clothing but that doesn't mean that Norwegian fashion is boring. Quite the contrary! For this part of the series Typisk Norsk-Typically Norwegian, I therefore want to focus on Norwegian clothing - from traditional costumes to street style!
Many moons ago, in 2008 to be precise, I embarked on my very first trip to Norway. It was autumn and for whatever reason, this autumn reminded me of that trip a lot. Maybe it's because of the fact that I'm still living in Norway despite having finished my degree and plan on continuing doing so for the foreseeable future.
Each summer, thousands and thousands of Norwegians hop on the next charter flight and escape the misery that is a summer in Norway. Their destination? SYDEN! Now Syden can be anywhere south of Norway where temperatures reach 30 degrees and the sun shines every day. Syden also is where alcohol is cheap, of course!
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I'm not exactly a fan of Norwegian cuisine. If there's one time of the year I'd happily spent tons of money on Norwegian food, it's during SMAK - Tromso Food Festival! It's a wonderful opportunity to get to know Northern Norwegian cuisine on a budget!
(...) I didn't think much about it after that - until we left the plane coming from our trip to Spain and someone literally shoved me aside to make his way to the duty free store while I was trying to get my bag from the overhead locker. In exactly that moment it dawned on me: I'll never be Norwegian.