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September 5, 2010

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Norway's sea delicacies

SALMON, codfish, king crab, scallops, you name it: Norway definitely knows how to cook good seafood! The table in front of me at the Norway Pavilion restaurant was filled with the most fantastic varieties of fish dishes you could ever imagine.

There was the smoked salmon, the cured salmon, the sashimi salmon, the baked salmon, the pan-fried codfish, the king crab soup, the baked codfish with tomato jam, the scallops with carrot puree and, well, it feels like I could go on for ever.

For the first bite, I picked one of the smoked salmon pieces, covered with fresh olive oil, and as I took it in my mouth I felt like I was traveling far from the Expo and suddenly I was back home in Sweden. In Sweden we also eat a lot of fish and while I was sitting there enjoying all the amazing varieties of well-cooked seafood, I was thinking about how the Norwegian food is different from Swedish food. As neighboring countries we have a lot in common and many people perhaps have difficulties defining typical Norwegian food and typical Swedish food. I will try to clear things up.

The very hospitable Norwegian chef Terje agreed that the dishes in Sweden and Norway often are similar since we easily can import from each other, both commodities and inspiration. However, the North Sea outside of Norway and the Baltic Sea outside of Sweden do provide different kinds of fish and seafood. For instance, in Sweden we have a thing for crayfish; in August we have crayfish parties to celebrate these creatures. In Norway, on the other hand, they have the king crab. This is one of the largest crab species in the world, Terje tells me, as he serves me a very delicious and enormous crab claw.

Another part of the crab is used in the fabulous king crab soup that also graced the table in front of me. With the mix of vegetables, onion and herbs it easily slipped down my throat, leaving a very pleasant taste in my mouth.

One of my favorites in the Norwegian restaurant, however, was the pan-fried fillet of codfish, topped with apple and slices of cauliflower, served with braised mushrooms together with an incredibly tasty potato and broccoli puree. A taste combination I won't forget! Very munchy! So for anyone out there longing for fresh fish and seafood, I strongly recommend a visit to the Norway Pavilion to sample the rich selection of dishes from the sea.

For more details, check out Munching Matilda at See you next week and keep munching!


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