We're making such a fuss over Norwegian food these days, you'd think we've been living in Japan for several years. The truth is, I don't think we actually miss anything typical Norwegian yet, it's just fun to make the Japanese people eat it.
Wictoria got sent a pack of Risengrøt - a kind of rice pudding Norwegians usually eat around Christmas, but it's also common to eat on any normal day as a lunch/dinner.
It is boiled with milk, and that "seasoned" with cinnamon, sugar and a knob of butter.
I managed to drown my bastard in butter. Wictoria had us try it with bacon, which supposedly is normal in her neck of the woods, but neither Cat, Benedicte nor myself had ever heard of. It was actually very good, as the risengrøt tend to get very sweet, and you want something savoury.
Wictoria had stayed up late the day before, translating a fairytale, well-known to Norwegians, into Japanese, about the creature Troll and Askeladden, the main character in many Norwegian folktales, and how they compete about who could eat the most risengrøt.
Wictoria has a lot of neat stuff, when you first get to snoop around. Banana guards are genius! How many times haven't put a banana in your bag, forget about it, and then find smeared all over you stuff? Maybe it's just me. And Wictoria, obviously.
Licorice candy! Japanese and Thai people don't eat licorice, at all. Therefore it's so fun to make them eat it and see their disgusted reaction. You can't get anything like licorice in these countries, and when they taste it, usually they will associate it with cough syrup and being sick - and really dread it. Fun! (More for me!)
Swedish hard bread. Very popular among Norwegians. I personally don't like it very much, as it gives me a feeling of eating, well, stale bread.
We had some hard bread with leverpostei (liver pâté) and a typical Norwegian brown cheese, brunost, which is a cheese made from goat's milk.
Yan and Kuniyoshi, our Japanese guinea pigs, seemed to enjoy it - and said the brown cheese tasted like peanut butter. That's the second time we've heard that from a Japanese person. It does not resemble peanut butter. Maybe it's like when Norwegians taste fruit they've never had before, it always taste like pear. Or when you try new meat, like frog legs and snake meat (I eat snake meat all the time, don't you?), it tastes like chicken.
With the ball already rolling, Wictoria wanted to make us all a dish which is popular in the northern part of Norway, where she is from, but to the rest of us southerners, again, we hadn't heard about it.
She made a batter from mainly flour and eggs, and then dropped lumps of it to boil in some milk. It may have resembled the risengrøt we had earlier, and I liked it, as it reminded me of when my mom used to boil macaroni in milk and I'd eat it with sugar.
Now it may seem to you like Norwegian food is all about bland, puddingy stuff. And you're right. We eat a lot of bland and mashed stuff. That's why I don't long for Norwegian food - I miss Thai food.
Kuniyoshi always bring his "Norwegian book" which is this neat book that teaches Japanese people simple phrases in Norwegian. It was also popular among the Japanese exchange students at the university back home in Oslo.