Oslo is the capital and the largest city of Norway that is blessed with breathtaking natural landscapes. It is marked as a ‘sustainable destination’ mainly for its initiatives in conserving the environment and reducing the carbon footprint. This city is also home to an amazing array of man-made stunners such as Oslo Opera House and Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. However, these are not the only ones that Oslo takes pride in, the city’s ever-evolving food scene is also another dimension one should explore. Oslo’s diverse cuisine gives the Norwegian flavor a new twist while holding on to its roots. Apart from the popular eateries, you are able to taste authentic flavors at the street stalls as well? To help you out, here is the list of the top street food you must try in Oslo, Norway.
1. Potato lefse (flatbread)
A known traditional food of Oslo, you can find potato lefse on the streets. This is a flatbread made from mashed potato and flour and is then flattened like a crepe. Because of its shape and flavor, this bread is usually served with sweet butter, rolled up, and served with a dash of cinnamon and sugar. Some even serve it with ice cream and fruit jams to give it a sweeter flavor and turn a simple bread into a dessert.
2. Fiskeboller (fish ball)
Fiskeboller, or fish balls to its local folks, is a common dinner item in almost every household in Oslo. Fiskeboller is made by mixing flour, eggs, milk, and of course finely minced white fish. It is then served with a thick sauce and boiled potatoes, and other steamed vegetables. Fiskeboller has a mild to bland taste of its own, which is also why it can be added to stews and soups. Other locals add an exotic twist by adding curry powder and shrimp for an interesting flavor. These fish balls are easily found at the street stalls since Norway is known for its fish.
A burger is basically a patty sandwiched between two buns. As familiar as it may seem, different countries have their own versions of this dish. Take for example a Norwegian burger, it is made with chopped onions, pickled beets, sweet gherkin, capers, ground, beef, and pilsner beer. Dry ingredients are mixed with the wet ingredients, flattened out, and then fried until juicy. Oslo offers this street food item in other varieties as well. You can also taste burger patties made of salmon and lean beef stew meat. So whatever your preference is, why not try them all?
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4. Norwegian waffles
Waffles are breakfast essentials for most and it is found across the street-food stalls in Oslo. But what makes a Norwegian waffle so popular? First, it is heart-shaped, second, it is sweeter than usual, and third, it is softer than the classic American waffles. These waffles are egg-y, sweet, and has a hint of vanilla. To make them, mix together eggs, whole milk, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, sea salt, and butter. Norwegian waggles are usually served with sausages, jams, or fresh fruits on top.
Interestingly, this famous Mexican comfort food has also made it to the list of must-try street foods in Oslo. Tacos are made from tortilla filled with beef, or any meat, some vegetables, and topped with chili sauce, or nothing at all. They can be soft, crunchy, rolled, or folded. Basically, you can have your tacos however you prefer to enjoy it. When in Oslo, try having your tacos at Vippa where they serve it in nice proportions at reasonable prices as well.
6. Lutefisk (dried cod)
Lutefisk is a widely available traditional Christmas food in Norway. This gelatinous delicacy is made from stockfish. First, fish is soaked for five to six days with water being changed daily. After this, the water is mixed with lye, and the fish meat is soaked for another two days and then for another four to six days with a daily change of cold water. Once it is ready for cooking, the meat is then rubbed with salt and steamed for 20-25 minutes. Some bake it while others wrap it in cheesecloth and boil until tender. After all those steps, it is served with boiled potatoes, mashed green peas, and minced bacon. Every bite is worth the try!
7. Pickled herring
Pickled herring is a staple in many parts of Europe and Scandinavia, especially during the holidays. To make this traditional food, herring is cured with salt which is then removed and replaced with brine. Brine is usually a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and salt. Some makers add onions, peppercorn, and dill, to add flavors. New-age chefs experiment with other non-traditional ingredients to add to the curing of pickled herring. Aside from its flavor, pickled herring is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, so if you are looking for something tasty and healthy at the same time, make sure to try this street favorite!
8. Svele (batter-based cake)
Svele, also known as lapp, is a batter-based desert and can be compared to America’s pancake. However, unlike pancake, svele is sweeter and never eaten for breakfast. To make these, you need eggs, sugar, kefir, wheat flour, and butter. These ingredients are mixed with baking soda and salt of hartshorn. Once the mixture is set, these are fried flat in a pan dashed with butter. In Scandinavia, svele is not usually served with jams nor maple syrup. It is traditionally eaten as plain as possible or together with fruits, ice cream, and Oslo’s famous brown cheese.
9. Polse (sausage)
Very common street food in Oslo, or anywhere in the world, are sausages. They are served as a hot dog or with various other sides. Pølsevogn, or hot dog stands, are scattered throughout the city of Oslo and it is a local favorite. Like any sausage, polse is served in a bun with ketchup, mustard, and other toppings like onions or pickles. It is also served on mashed potatoes adding some carbs to the protein. Feel like a local and grab your pølse however you prefer because you can never really go wrong with this choice.
10. Brown cheese Ice-Cream
Brown cheese or brunost is another traditional food item of Norway made from goat’s milk, boiled until its sugars have caramelized and turned brown in color. Available widely on the streets of Oslo, brown cheese ice cream is a must-try for every tourist. With every spoonful, a taste of vanilla ice cream mixed with caramelized cheese, and hints of saltiness and of burnt sugar blends in your mouth. This eccentric ice cream is best paired with their famous heart-shaped waffles.
Go local with Oslo's street food
Oslo offers a lot to its tourists, may it be breathtaking natural landscapes, cultural museums, or modern architectural wonders. Surely, you will not run out of things to explore! So to fully immerse yourself explore its local flavors found along its streets. Just how simple and minimalist the Scandinavian design is, their food matches the reputation.
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