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  • A pie-lovin', bread-risin', apron wearin' expatriate living the good life on the west coast of Norway

Blogs From the Kitchen- in English

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May 19, 2012


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A few months ago there was an article in Aftenposten about who buys processed foods (ferdigmat). The article interviewed a few well-cared for wives in Oslo--one of whom has something like four refrigerators and a deep freeze and she makes everything from scratch, and goes to this market for her fish, and this other market for her meat, and this one for her vegetables. . . blah blah blah. And every SINGLE person they interviewed in the little 2-sentence interviews running along the bottom of the article denied that they EVER buy ferdigmat. And I'm thinking: THEN WHO THE HELL IS BUYING ALL THIS CRAPPY FOOD??? And, lady in Oslo with four refrigerators: how is that representative of how people shop and eat in Norway??? what percentage of Norway's population has the option of going to 5 different specialty boutiques to buy their food??? I was so ticked. . .

Lisa Kjellerød

Welcome back Siri! You were missed!
I really feel I could have written this blogpost. I feel your pain.
Every single time we step into a supermarket here I lose any inspiration to cook and its the one place I can guarantee that Henrik and I will have a stinking arguement. They are so depressing. I feel as if my freedom of choice has been horribly snatched away from me since moving here. Thank god I'm a good cook otherwise food wise we'd be totally screwed here! P.s we have been to Sweden twice this week and have a fridge/ freezer stocked up with a much better variety of Swedish goods! Hurra for sverige!

lauren @ sassy molassy

Oh man, that would get me in a tissie as well. Hang in there, Siri mama.


I had this exact experience over Easter in Molde with my boyfriend's family. I thought- simple dinner to cook for everyone is roast chicken. WRONG. As we went from store to store to store I simply couldn't believe that a whole, uncooked chicken was not to be found. Well it was to be found, for a fortune, and from France. Just wild.


Can you eat some of those rabbits? ;-) Just leave two -- sounds like they'll make more rabbits to fill the void.


There are always trade-offs in this world, ikke sant? We live north of the fruit and vegetable line, so we either grow our own or buy a pile of stuff when we go to the Big City a couple of times a year. Nothing quite as tasty as home grown, though.


Patriotic little guy!


Welcome back Siri! I will make you Peruvian Roast Chicken in August. Even if it's hot out, ok.

Caterina B

Oh no! I had no idea that it was like that in Norway. One would think that you would be able to get good vege and fruit and why can't you get a fresh, whole chicken? That's horrible.
Doesn't anyone raise chickens? Is the food all imported, or almost all? You need to get a little farm and raise your own chickens and pigs and have a garden. That's what we do as much as possible. I completely understand your frustration. When I go to the "super"market here, and when I read the sale flyers that come in the newspaper every Wednesday, I realize that 99% of the food advertised is icky convenience food full of unnecessary stuff and processed beyond recognition. Now you've got me on my soapbox, I better stop! It's the big agribusiness here in the states who control our food and it's not a good thing.


Girl(cradling head in hands.)The hunt for the whole chicken nearly puts me over the edge as well. No, it's not the hunt that puts me over the edge, it's -- as you said -- the fact that you HAVE to hunt. For a chicken. Who knew there were places on earth where it is easier to find reindeer and whale in the supermarket than chicken? Sigh.


Kim- Well put. And have you had whale meat? I don't care what the food writers from VG and Aftenposten say, whale meat, no matter how it is prepared, will ever be delicious.


Nope. No whale. But i love being able to win just about any argument by going all greenpeace and saying, ''social equality, blah, blah blah. you people eat WHALE.''


I arrived in Stavanger in May and on one of my first visits to the grocery store couldn't find a cut of meat that wasn't frozen or seasoned. Thinking I must be looking in the wrong area I called out to my husband, "Where's the real meat?" to which a understanding gentleman nearby replied, "You won't find it here. You might want to try Helgø."


Hi Siri,

Your post made me laugh because it is so true! I do love so many things Norwegian, but the groceries just suck and I'm talking normal, everyday stuff - forget anything remotely ethnic, it just doesn't seem to be able to be found! The Twin Cities aren't NY or SF, but we really do have it pretty good here in terms of food availability. The one thing Norway does have us beat on though, is the bread. Even in gas station markets. Puts us to shame. Oh well, I guess you can't have it all, but what a funny post, and so, so true!


I moved to Bergen a month ago (from Berkeley, California--fresh food heaven), and had to laugh at your post because it mirrors my feelings exactly. My biggest frustrations have been lack of chicken and lack of dark leafy greens. One can only eat so much iceberg lettuce! Anyway, glad to have found your blog (the boller recipe got me here), and look forward to reading more!

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