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Sport, wellbeing and cuisine in Norway

What do you need to know about Norwegian culture? At what time do the Norwegians normally eat? What do they eat for breakfast? You're sure to have a lot of questions before you set off, but you'll find plenty of answers in this article on the everyday life of the Norwegians.

Sport and wellbeing in Norway

luckily for the inhabitants of Oslo, the city is surrounded by verdant countryside, meaning that you can ski in winter and trek in summer. Not to mention, all kinds of outdoor activities are available just a few kilometres from the city. Winters are long and harsh with very little sunshine. Around the month of June, as soon as the temperature hits 20°C, you'll find huge numbers of Norwegians in the parks, swimming in the Oslofjord and in Sognsvann Lake. Sognsvann Lake and the trekking trails around it are favourites with the residents of the capital. It's a fantastic spot and you can get there easily via the underground. Pitch your tent there, like many Norwegians do!

Whether in a sports centre or outside, you're sure to see the importance of wellbeing and of keeping fit, particularly in the cities, when you're travelling in Norway. Although the Norwegians may seem not to be very interested in fashion, they're always well equipped when it comes to sport. i was amused and surprised to see mothers running with buggies at all times of day and in all weathers.

Focus on Norwegian cuisine

From a culinary point of view, my stay in Norway was full of surprises. Apart from the sky-high prices that are applied to food, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the products on offer in the supermarkets and by the dishes prepared by my Norwegian housemates.

Seeing me prepare my toast and jam and my housemates meticulously preparing their own breakfasts with as much care as I would use to prepare dinner, it soon became clear how different our respective eating habits are. Frokost (breakfast in Norwegian), is consistent and balanced. Depending on people's tastes, it might consist of eggs (boiled, scrambled or fried), thin Wasa crispbread (a Swedish speciality that the Norwegians are very fond of), soft cheeses and dried fruit, cold meat, salmon, tuna and so on. The midday meal is light. A sandwich and a mixed salad is enough to see you through to 6 pm and dinner time.

Generally speaking, Norwegian cuisine is based on natural products: berries, mushrooms, game (elk, reindeer, etc.) and of course fish, and salmon and cod in particular, in every shape and form: smoked, salted, marinated and even dried, would feature in the most typical dishes. Sometimes, you'll also see tubes of caviar which are actually salmon butter to spread on Wasa crispbread. Personally, I'm not a fan of the sweet/salty mix of flavours which is a characteristic of much of Norwegian cuisine.

Drying salt cod in Norway

Amongst the sweet treats on offer in Norway, you'll find the famous pastries flavoured with cinnamon and cumin, which are absolutely delicious!

Jade Hochart
10 contributions
Updated 28 October 2015

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