Showing posts with label Norwegian Cooking. Show all posts

- Traditional scandinavian cooking made easy -

Astrid Karlsen Scott

Cover design by Brian Peterson, Cover photo from Shutterstock

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Book Details
 320 p
 File Size 
 6,862 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 978-1-63220-775-3 (ebook)
 2011, 2015 by Astrid Karlsen Scott

There are many people who contribute, often unaware over a period of time, to the writing
of a book. For instance, from childhood I grew up around women who were good cooks,
who served nutritious and lovingly prepared food. They did not know then, nor did I, that
they created memories for future generations.

Likewise, on my visits to Norway, opportunities to sample the best in traditional
Norwegian food created a curiosity in me that also contributed to this book. I wish to
thank all the excellent Norwegian cooks who, surely unwittingly, inspired me to keep
Norwegian food traditions alive in America.

I deeply appreciate the assistance and liberal help of the following experts in Norway
and America: Anna-Karin Lindstad, Division Manager Nutrition Department at Tine; Liv
Gregersen Kongsten, Home Economic Consultant at Forma A/S; Britt Kåsen, Home
Economic Consultant, Office of Information for Fruit and Vegetables; Oda Christensen,
Press/Food Consultant Information Office for Eggs and Meat; Guri Tveit, Home
Economics Consultant, Information for Eggs and Poultry; Gunvor Holst, Adviser
Norwegian Seafood Export Council; Norwegian Dairy Industry,; Evan
Nordahl, Office for Information for Meat; Ingrid Espelid Hovig, Culinary Expert, TV
CHEF, and Senior TV Producer Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation; Bodil Bergan,
Chief Guide, A/S Freia; Norwegian Seafood Export Council, King Oscar, USA, INC.;
Norwegian Potato Industries; Eva Melsæter, Food Editor Hjemmet; Ellen C. Daatland,
Food Editor, Familien; Chr. Schibsteds Forlag; J. W. Cappelens Forlag A/S; Torunn
Linneberg, Olympia Utvikling, Troll Park A/S.

I acknowledge the favorite recipes shared by Dr. Thor Heyerdahl, Eva Johannessen,
Edith Jaques, Else Rønnevig, Sigrid Juul Røset, Marianne Lindboe, and Helga Jonassen.
I am grateful to Marleigh (Martha) Harrison and Steinar Bjarne Karlsen for

To Julie Matysik, my editor at Skyhorse Publishing, I am grateful for her professional
confidence, her skill, and upbeat attitude.
And always to my husband Scotty, our children, their spouses, and my grandchildren, I
am thankful and secure in their eternal love and reassurance.
Astrid Karlsen Scott

Norway is a winterland where snow covers most of the country for more than half of the
year. It also is a land of mountains where only 3 percent of the land can be cultivated.
Norway has a long rugged coast with many fjords, and half of the country lies north of
the Arctic Circle. However the weather is milder than one would expect because of the
Gulf Stream that crosses the Atlantic from America. People in the past subsisted on
minuscule land because the sea provided an abundance of fish.

Nature and climatic conditions caused the Norwegians to adapt to the circumstances
where they lived. Diverse food traditions developed through the centuries in north and
south Norway, as well as in the east and the west.

Notwithstanding, mingled with these food traditions, a deep friendliness and sincere
hospitality unfolded toward strangers. In the ancient Edda poems, Håvamål, it is written:
“… the man who has traveled in the mountains needs food and drink.”
It is self-evident that people took advantage of the summers because of the long difficult
winters. They needed time to till the ground, to plant, and to harvest crops, yet in many
places the climate was such that the grain did not ripen. The people received their main
nourishment from grain, meat, fish, and milk. The fish farmers along the coast always kept
a cow and a few sheep. Inland they sowed barley and oats on the minuscule land available.
They would say, “Grain is borrowed from God” or often, “Grain is life.”
The life-sustaining potato was not grown in Norway until the late 1700s. The so-called
potato-priests from their pulpits encouraged people to cultivate potatoes. Today many
Norwegians clearly remember the war years, 1940–1945. In many homes hunger would
have been unbearable had we not been able to grow potatoes.

The Norwegian people learned early from experience to preserve food. They learned
various conservation methods. Cattle and goats gave little milk during the winter months,
but the summer milk was churned to butter and made into cheese. Many Norwegian
cheeses have a long history, and even today we think that gammalosten—a pungent sour
milk cheese—and goat cheese are among the best. Many new cheeses have a milder taste
like the gudbrandsdalosten, something many enjoy.

The old farmers attempted to be self-sufficient. However, no matter how remote some
farms were, salt was necessary for all. Most meat was salted down. Fresh meat was
provided only for certain days, like church holidays and other important celebrations.
From the middle ages the grain was ground in water gristmills. Up to the 1800s grains
were mostly used for flatbread and porridge. Porridge, a food for all, was often eaten with
sour milk, a piece of cured meat, or a few pieces of flatbread. Porridge was vassgraut (gruel
usually made with barley) and rømmegraut, sour cream porridge. Vassgraut has saved
many a life. Sour cream porridge (served with sugar, cinnamon, and currant juice) is
enjoyed as a celebration food even today wherever people cherish Norwegian food traditions.

Fresh meat was available in the fall when the animals were slaughtered. Many claim that
fårikål—lamb with cabbage—a typical dish served at that time is our national dish. One
could discuss how many spices to use. It was not a problem for Norwegians who managed
with whatever nature provided.

Lutefish and rakørret (cured trout) had a bad reputation in the old topographical
writings but are today a much enjoyed (and expensive) food served in restaurants and homes.

Notwithstanding, there was a marked difference between hverdagsmat, everyday food,
and foods served on feast days. Heavy physical labor required nourishment first. However,
at weddings and funerals, and other important social events, neighbors helped each other
with what was called sendings, a beautiful expression of unity by people who out of
necessity toiled heavily. They cherished the security and enjoyment of these gatherings.
Since World War II many foreign food traditions have been introduced to Norway, but
simultaneously, there is a deeper appreciation for the old food traditions. We cling to the
simple food of two open-face pieces of bread, in place of lunch. On the 17th of May
(Norway’s Constitution Day), we are only too pleased to be invited for sour cream
porridge and cured meat.1*

With her thorough knowledge of cooking, and of Norwegian recipes and a background
in tradition and popular food usage in Norway, Astrid Karlsen Scott has produced a book
that rightly deserves the title of Authentic Norwegian Cooking.
The translated poems and her own youth and childhood memories from Norway add
much to the charm and genuineness of her work, and also make it enjoyable reading apart
from the recipes.
Dr. Olav Bø
Professor of Philosophy

Table of Contents

Norwegian Table Prayer
Open-Face Sandwiches
Dessert Sauces
Meat, Poultry, and Game
Sandwich Meats
Norwegian Cheeses and Dairy Recipes
Breads, Flatbread, Lefse, and More
Cakes and Pastries
Creams, Frosting, and Glazes
Cookies and Waffles
Spice Chart
Special Help
English Index
Norwegian Index


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