The Truth About the Norwegian Meatballs

The Truth About the Norwegian Meat Balls

If you are not a Norwegian you might think that what you see on the picture above is a relatively simple traditional Norwegian dinner. I admit that it looks innocent enough, but it is far from. The dish above is the yardstick with which every newlywed woman in Norway is measured.

Her reputation as a housewife is placed on the scales the first time she makes meatballs for her husband. What sort of mince meat is she useing, what sort of spices. Does she serve them with stewed cabbage or stewed peas. With just the fat from the frying pan or a propper sauce. And most important around here, does she serve it with propper cranberry jam or just fresh cranberries stirred with sugar.

The worst thing for the young woman is that she has no way of knowing how to get it right, because what it all comes down to is, does her husband say when he taste them; “They are not as good as my mother’s” or “These were delicious, luv.”

Her reputation is as you now understand in the hands of her mother-in-law’s cooking. And worst is, said mother-in-law may be the crappiest cook for miles around, her devoted son will love her crappy meatballs anyway.


Traditional food is no joking matter around this
neck of the woods I can tell you

Ted
Winking smile

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A Type of Ahrash – Spiced Meat Patties with a Sauce / Krydrede Kjøttkaker med Saus

A 13th Century Arabic pattie recipe found on “Let Hem Boyle
A Type of Ahrash – Spiced Meat Patties with a Sauce / Krydrede Kjøttkaker med Saus

Saara who runs ‘Let Hem Boyle’  writes: This is the recipe that was used by Sayyid Abu al-Hasan and others in Morocco, and they called it isfîriyâ.

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Karriboller Og Kokosris / Curry Meatballs And Coconut Rice

A contemporary Norwegian dinner recipe found on rema.no
Karriboller Og Kokosris / Curry Meatballs And Coconut Rice

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Rema 1000 – A part of Norwegian grocers history

It began with the pursuit of a retail concept that was different than the traditional corner store. On a study trip to Germany in 1977 representatives of the Reitan Group were  impressed by the German discount chain ALDI’s implemented simplicity. When Odd Reitan opened the first REMA grocers February 15th, 1979 at Bromstad in Trondheim it was an ALDI imitation.

The initial phase

In the initial phase the selection was limited to 500-600 articles, but this range was too narrow to be profitable. The store in Mo i Rana, which opened the following year, therefore increased the range of products to 1,000 articles. This was a great success and was continued in the three stores which from then went by the name REMA. It also led to the name of the chain being changed to Rema 1000 – an abbreviation for Reitan Food, 1000 articles.

Expansion

The REMA 1000 concept has over the years been developed and improved, and the range of articles has changed in step with the times and customers’ shopping habits. But the Reitan Group still work by the same original philosophy.

Today

The Reitan family are among the richest people in Norway and not long ago people like that had a social conscience. But not in our day and age, The Reitan Group has recently changed their beer distribution routines to increase their earnings even more and it is already begining to cost people their jobs at local breweries. Mack Brewery in Tromsø announced today that they are forced to let 35 people go.

Meatballs In Brown Sauce With Creamed Cabbage Or Green Pea Puree / Kjøttkaker I Brun Saus Med Stuakål Eller Ertestuing

A traditional Norwegian recipe from the popular food site MatPrat
Image from lokalhistoriewiki.no

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I know I mentioned that «Mutton In Cabbage» was elected Norway’s national dish 40 years ago in a post about that dish, and It was actually re-elected quite recently. On the other hand,  I think very many Norwegian think about meatballs in brown sauce with either creamed cabbage or green pea puree as the most Norwegian dish of all. And few would dream of eating it without a nice dash of cranberry jam or fresh cranberries stirred with sugar like you see on the picture above.

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See this and lots of other delicious recipes here:
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