The spellbinding scenery of Fjord Norway is full of contrasts: High mountains peaks and deep fjords. Warm summer days and cold winter nights. A tough climate and great distances. That’s the secret behind the treasure chest of flavours you’ll find in Fjord Norway, and the reason why you’ll find new, exciting culinary experiences around every bend.
Flavour of the month
The cuisine in Fjord Norway changes with the seasons. In the summer, you can enjoy delicious strawberries, raspberries and sweet cherries. Between the mountains, fruit and vegetables ripen slowly over the course of the long, light days, which intensifies their flavour. The temperature of the fjords remains pretty constant throughout the year, providing a mild climate for plants.
When the days start getting colder, it’s time to hunt, gather and preserve the bounty. Jam is made from berries, and root vegetables are harvested and stored. Wild sheep, deer, reindeer and grazing animals have been out on pasture all summer and are now full of flavour. Autumn is the time for delicious, tender meat.
Seafood is best in winter when the fjord is icy cold. This is when the crustaceans, shellfish and fish along the long coastline are juicy and plump. It’s prime quality and there’s plenty of it too. Which is why seafood from Western Norway is exported to top restaurants across the globe.
Food culture and tradition
The great distances have meant that each farm has had to be self-sufficient through history. This explains the countless small-scale producers along the fjords where you can explore new flavours based on tradition and craftsmanship. The Norwegian fisherman-farmer has both farmed and fished for generations, in order to get the most out of each season, and enabling him to enjoy all of nature’s bounty.
The food of Fjord Norway is shaped by the techniques that have been used to preserve it. Drying, salting and smoking have been important means of extending the seasons, and have paved the way for internationally acclaimed products like klipfish, smoked salmon and a wide range of cured meats. The geographical indication ‘fenalår’ is a unique Norwegian delicacy visitors should try. The coastal climate gives the aged, salted meat a flavour all of its own.
The world’s best flavours
Norwegian milk is known for its clear, mild flavour, and artisan cheeses for every palate are made throughout the year. You can learn more about local cheese making traditions, pasture farm culture, flavours and techniques at many of the farms that make cheese. And you can try many different specialities, like brown cheese, and gammelost cheese, where tradition and modernity go hand in hand. The cheeses Kraftkar from Tingvollost and Fanaost from Ostegården have both been awarded gold at the World Cheese Awards, in 2016 and 2019, respectively.
At the many creative restaurants in the region, you’ll find both modern and historical dishes that are best enjoyed with a glass of local artisan beer or refreshing cider. You’ll find a wide range of award-winning local drinks along the fjords, from Bareksten Botanical Gin, voted the world’s best gin at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, to distinctive drinks made from local varieties of fruit and berries. In 2020, the cider producers from Fjord Norway were awarded an impressive 22 medals at the international CiderWorld competition. Any trip to the region would not be complete without sampling these fine products.
Sustainable restaurant food
Whether you want to eat a traditional meal at one of the many farms in the region or enjoy a memorable fine dining experience, you’re in safe hands along the fjords. There are numerous restaurants with skilled chefs who are passionate about sustainable local ingredients. Relax and enjoy a culinary journey through the fjords at Bocuse d’Or, winner Ørjan Johannessen’s restaurant at Bekkjarvik Gjestgiveri. Or visit one of the acclaimed Michelin restaurants in the region, such as RE-NAA, Sabi Omakase and BARE Restaurant. Experience the culture of Fjord Norway on a culinary journey that will tickle your taste buds and give you memories for life.