Norway is noted for its excellent raw products, particularly fish. You can find smoked salmon, gravlaks (cured salmon) and trout in most restaurants, but you can also enjoy freshly caught white fish such as cod, monkfish and halibut. Herring and shellfish are also very popular – try a bag of shrimps fresh from the fisherman’s boat and enjoy it with an ice-cold beer on the quayside!
If you like meat dishes, you should not leave Norway without trying reindeer, moose, red deer or grouse. Enjoy it with a creamy sauce – and if you treat yourself to a glass of good red wine it should make for a very fine meal indeed.
Goat’s milk cheese prepared in a special way (brunost) is a Norwegian speciality. This brown, sweet cheese is not widely known outside of Norway, but is loved by Norwegians of all ages. Cured or dried meat (spekemat) in the form of ham and dried sausages is popular summer food in Norway. Spekemat is usually served with wafer-thin crisp bread (another Norwegian speciality), sour cream and scrambled eggs, and always goes down well with a good Norwegian beer and a shot or two of aquavit.
In recent years, a number of Norwegian chefs have won top international awards in highly prestigious culinary competitions. They have helped to raise the standard of Norwegian restaurants and develop a modern cuisine based on traditional Norwegian produce.