Fishy Food in Norway

26 Jan

Everything is fish - heeeeeelp !!

I went to Tromsø to visit friends during the Film Festival there. This seems to be THE happening of the year, so people from all corners of Norway flock in, and everybody meets up with everybody – resulting in a traditional dinner here and there.

The kingdom of Fish Food

One evening we went with a bunch of friends of friends to a Norwegian fish restaurant, just next to the harbour (even though the fish nowadays comes from the supermarket instead of the fishermen’s boats). There was the traditional warm-up which took place in the pub downstairs, with a big beer each in our hands, before moving up for some really fishy food.

There was fish soup for starters. Followed by a fish buffet: with cod belly, fish fillet, fish cheeks, fish tongue, fish eggs, fish liver, fish stomach,… I’m surprised the furniture wasn’t made of fish bones… So in one dinner, I probably ate more fish than in my whole life together. Quite an achievement. Maybe it was the traditional aquavit (Norwegian ‘life-water’ – 40% alc.) that helped me enlarge my fish-horizon…

Even fish in the morning

Aquavit also helped me to refresh my Danish, or what has become of it. I was stupid enough to boast to my table-neighbours that I had studied Danish. So they instantly switched to this Scandinavian mix language which they use between Sweden, Denmark & Norway. The first minutes were pure stuttering, the next beer words came more easily and an aquavit later my Danish was back.

Little fish – big fish

My hosts were great. Especially the ‘traditional Norwegian’ Chinese friend of mine was showing off all things Norwegian (hehe – who’s typical, who’s not?). One of the things that was part of the breakfast table was – yep, you guessed – fish. So you could have your bread or cardboard (knackebrød-thin toast) either with smoked salmon, with fish paste or with a colourful collection of herring in a jar (e.g. in mustard sauce, with herbs & spices, with tomato, etc).

  • I was sceptical in the beginning (especially because I’m not particularly a fish lover) but I even brought a few jars of those things home, believe it or not…

My lovely Norwegian hosts

Another evening, one of the dinners, we ate at home, and my hosts were cooking. They were being quite mysterious about what would be on the menu, and in the end it turned out to be moooore fish – a really big one: whale (I know it’s actually a mammal rather than a fish, but still, it swims).

  • It actually tastes quite yummy – like steak, but less fatty – so swimming must be good for you…

When at the film festival they handed out promotional Sushi (quite a change from the peanuts we’d get – if at all you get something for free), I think I had my dose of fish for the coming year…


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