7 Strange But Superb Norwegian Foods To Try In Alesund, Norway – North Sea 10
Port of Alesund, Norway
One of Europe’s best small ports, Alesund Cruise Port has a striking setting. It is situated at the entrance of UNESCO World Heritage listed Geirangerfjord. And the cruise dock is right at an accessible location in the city. The town center is just a couple of minutes walk away from the harbor.
A municipality in More og Romsdal county in Norway, Alesund (or Aalesund) is a sea port town famous for its collection of Art Nouveau buildings. While most Norwegian cities have the similar wooden houses look, here in Alesund, the architecture is the same with those found in Prague (Czech Republic) or Brussels (Belgium). In 1904, all the wooden houses in Alesund were burned down from a devastating fire. Norwegian architects plus the money of a German philanthropist worked together to rebuild the city in a distinctive architectural fashion during that period.
Founded in 1837, Alesund is set on 7 islands which are connected by bridges and undersea tunnels. The most beautiful city by the fjords, Alesund‘s multiple turrets, spirals and incredible adornment appear like something from a fairy tale setting. And it is also the home of Norway‘s most important fishing port for the cod and halibut fishing fleet.
Alesund was the last coastal city in Western Norway that I’ve been to, before signing off from my contract with the Knock An in 2001. A Norwegian city with the perfect blend of coastal grandeur, alpine greatness and distinctive architecture. And since it is the home of Norway‘s most important fishing port, therefore it is good to know its seafood culture while you are here. From sticky codfish to crumbled old cheese, read on the 7 strange but superb Norwegian foods to try in Alesund, Norway.
When we talk of Norway‘s food scene, their seafood must have to be included. And it is more than just salmon and fresh cod. In Alesund, the cod fish comes salted and dried. They call it, the klippfish and I have to warn you, the smell will make you uncomfortable. A strange but superb Norwegian food to try in Alesund, Norway. But you know, long before jet fuel from the North Sea became Norway’s “gold” klippfisk was the smell of old money in this Viking land.
Klippfisk built their economy in the old days.It has been exported to Bilbao, Spain in the 1800s for the Bacalao, a famous Spanish seafood cuisine. And it’s called klippfisk because they’re dried out by the sun (and wind) on rocks and cliffs.
Norwegians confess that no one really know where this tradition came from. Lutefisk is the stock fish preserved with water and lye. Lye? That’s true, the very same lye used in the making of batteries and soaps! A strange but superb Norwegian food to try in Alesund, Norway.
But you know, lutefisk should taste better than the way it has been preserved. And this is actually a special cuisine prepared during the Christmas season in Norway. It is served with bacon and their Aquavit (a Scandinavian spirit distilled from wheat, potatoes and flavored with herbs).
Gammelost and Brunost
Norway‘s version of the cheese – gammelost and brunost. And they come in very strong. Gammelost is “old cheese” made of sour, skim milk then matured for weeks to get its full taste. Why it’s called “old cheese”? Because of the spoiled milk plus the mold and of course the smell. Caution, this is not for the faint- hearted, one old, smelly cheese is a pack quite a punch.
You might think this is somewhat cheesy but when you’re in Norway it’s obligatory to try their well-loved brunost. A strange but superb Norwegian food to try in Alesund, Norway. Brunost is a caramelized whey cheese (fudge) made from cow’s or goat’s milk. And it’s so yummy on their waffles.
Godt Nytt Aar! (Happy New Year). And what a more festive way to usher the new year in Norway than a sumptuous dinner of pinnekjott. This is a salted, sometimes steamed then dried ribs of the lamb. A strange but superb Norwegian food to try in Alesund, Norway. Literally means “sticky meat” as it refers to the birch twigs used in the steaming of the ribs before the drying stage. Pinnekjott, a main course is associated with the holiday season in Norway. It is paired with sausages and potatoes.
Now it’s the turn of their iconic salmon (laks). You know before the dawn of the crude oil in Norway, they were creative in preserving their beloved salmon as much as possible. Fermenting and curing are some examples. The gravlaks is a cured salmon with dill. A strange but superb Norwegian food to try in Alesund, Norway.
Smoked Cod Roe In Tube – Kaviar
It may not look as elegant as the ones in Russia but I’m sure you will still love the smoked cod roe in a tube called kaviar. A strange but superb Norwegian food to try in Alesund, Norway. This tubed kaviar is great to pack and bring along when you’re on fjord cruise in Norway.
Herring, a very important source of livelihood in many countries. Here in Norway, the herring has its own festival and they love it pickled. This is also a popular Christmas or New Year dish to the Norwegians. A strange but superb Norwegian food to try in Alesund, Norway. And it comes with different dressings like the simple vinegar base or the mustard and sherry. It is typically consumed as a topping for their rye bread.
Stunning fjords, sizeable coastline and beautiful villages, this is Alesund. And if you are planning a trip to Norway in the near future, the best destination that should be on your travel wish list should be this city. Plus the chance to experience a Viking meal is even for a day.