Unesco Bergen 24.-26. March 2014

Culinary culture and fjord gastronomy

Matfestivalen i Bergen

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Bergen and its surrounding region, has a highly distinctive gastronomy. The Viking’s meals often contained oysters or mussels, and sometimes mutton cheese, cabbage, apples, onions, berries and nuts. Archaeologists have found evidence that oysters and reindeer, for instance, were on the menu in the Stone Age as well. Whether you are dining at a fine restaurant, a farm you are visiting or a humble café frequented by the locals, prime ingredients are prepared in a way that lets the natural flavours come into their own.

The fjords with their deep cold and pure waters,  and high mountain glaciers have created the perfect natural conditions for harvesting sustainable, pure and healthy food ingredients. Our nature has created the foundation for a high variety of ingredients used in traditional and modern cooking. Salmon, Trout, Herring, Cod, Wild Sheep – these are just some of the endogenous ingredients that are used in traditional cooking.

The region of Hardanger is called the Norwegian fruit garden, and produces some of the finest fruit and berries in Norway, which are so unique and tasteful, they have received their own geographical

protection. The sheep of Fjord Norway graze in the wild for the majority of the year, and their natural diet includes herbs that imbue the meat with a fine flavour. A popular dish is fårikål - mutton meat stewed with cabbage and black peppercorns - which many Norwegians learn to make at an early age. Potato dumplings, called raspeballer or komler, often accompany sausages or salted meats and are served with a mash made from a local strain of turnip called “rutabaga”.