Norway’s culinary traditions are similar to the dramatic scenery of its coastline: fresh, distinctive, and full of variety. Just like seeing the snow-capped mountain peaks, the deep fjords, and the northern lights, the food experiences in Norway are extraordinary.

Norway’s cuisine is more than just seafood, although the country has an extensive coastline and, as a result, fish and shellfish feature heavily in many of the local meals. But there are other delicacies to experience while you are in Norway that you are sure to enjoy. Treat your taste buds to the delicious cuisine Norway has to offer as you sail the exquisite Norwegian coastline with Hurtigruten, which has one of the freshest and extraordinary ‘pantries’’ in the world, and be sure to try these six authentic, delectable dishes.

1. Reindeer

Because Norway is located so far north, it has access to an animal many of us here in the US have heard about but have never seen: reindeer.  The reindeer is known as ‘caribou’ in North America, and they do exist outside of Christmas legends! In fact, people have been eating reindeer in Norway for centuries—the native Sámi people in particular are known for herding them. If you’ve never had the chance to try this tasty meat before, take the opportunity on your trip in Norway. The meat is lean and delicious, and the overall taste fairly similar to venison.

2. Brown cheese

Don’t let the color fool you! Brown cheese, or ‘brunost’, is as delicious as it is odd-looking. Yes, it is literally brown—it’s made by heating whey and milk until the sugars begin to caramelize. As a result, you get a light brown cheese that is somehow both sweet and savory. A unique flavor! It’s delicious on its own or on toast. It’s also commonly used as a ‘secret ingredient’ in stews and sauces, as it gives a subtle touch of flavor and adds richness.

3. Grouse

Grouse are small birds (about the size of a tiny chicken) with a gamey flavor. The younger they are, the less gamey they’ll be—but even young grouse tend to have very strongly flavored dark meat. Grouse meat is often chopped up and included in a soup or stew with other fowl, so the kick of flavor acts as an accent. However, you can eat grouse on its own if you’d like to experience it in its full glory.

4. Cloudberries

Cloudberries are one of Norway’s most delectable foods. The small berries are golden-yellow, with a fresh flavor that is both sweet and tart. They are incredibly rare as they only grow north of the Arctic Circle, and the berries are incredibly fragile and tricky to grow, so they’re mostly found in the wild. Depending on where you are in Norway, you may be able to go and pick them for yourself. Though cloudberry-picking is legal nearly everywhere, different cities and regions have rules and regulations about when you can pick them and even how many you can take with you! During fall voyages, Hurtigruten’s Coastal Kitchen serves cloudberries on deck that are handpicked and delivered to us by a local woman in Finnmark.

5. Lamb

Even if you’ve tried lamb before, it’s worth trying again in Norway for two reasons. First of all, Norwegian lamb has earned a reputation as being some of the most tender and juiciest lamb to be found in the world. Secondly, part of the philosophy of lamb farming in Norway is that butchers and chefs use as much of the animal’s body as possible. This ‘nose-to-tail’ eating philosophy is considered ethically respectful and as a result, you may get the chance to try a part of a lamb you’ve never tasted before.

6. Raspeballer

Raspeballer may be a side dish, but that doesn’t mean it can’t shine! Raspeballer are potato dumplings made of grated potato that is mashed into balls with flour and salt and then boiled. In some parts of Norway, these potato dumplings are traditionally served on Thursdays, and often show up on menus as part of the dish of the day! Order them alongside a hot meat dish and enjoy a traditional Norwegian dinner.

Fjord-to-Table Cuisine

Hurtigruten’s Coastal Voyages provide authentic and unique experiences along the coast of Norway—the world’s most beautiful coastline. No one takes you deeper into the Norwegian fjords than the Hurtigruten captains, who have been traveling this coast since 1893. And no one takes you closer to the people who live there, their culture, traditions, and ways of life. If you are looking for a voyage filled with real cultural insight, active experiences, and delicious food from Norway’s Coastal Kitchen, then a Hurtigruten voyage is for you!

On a Hurtigruten voyage along the Norwegian coast, the food you are served is just as important as the nature you explore, the scenery you see, and the excursions you experience.  Hurtigruten’s Classic Coastal Voyages feature Norway’s Coastal Kitchen, which showcases the delicious foods of Norway. Visiting 34 ports on our coastal voyage gives us exceptional opportunities to get fresh produce from local suppliers every day. The fish served for dinner is as fresh as it can be. The herbs in the pesto served with your cod were picked from a garden in Kabelvåg. The cloudberries you taste out on deck or enjoy for dessert were handpicked in the mountains of Finnmark. Hurtigruten is proud to present Norway’s Coastal Kitchen—enjoy the taste of nature!

Read about Norway’s Coastal Kitchen on a Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage.

Hurtigruten’s Classic Coastal Voyages

A Hurtigruten journey will provide a thousand experiences. Hurtigruten is proud to sponsor the Sons of Norway International Convention of 2016. Sons of Norway members receive a 5% discount off voyage fares for the Classic Coastal Voyages shown below, with multiple departure dates in 2016 and 2017.

Classic Roundtrip Voyages:
12 days, Bergen – Kirkenes – Bergen, from $1,654.00 per person*

Classic Voyage North:
7 days, Bergen – Kirkenes, from $1,114.00 per person*

Classic Voyage South:
6 days, Kirkenes – Bergen, from $1,026.00 per person*

This discount can be combined with other offers such as our 1893 Ambassador’s loyalty program for guests who have traveled with Hurtigruten before. To learn more:

* Prices are per person, double occupancy, in an inside cabin, in USD, and valid for new retail bookings only. Offer is capacity controlled, and is subject to withdrawal at any time without notice. Ships’ Registry: Norway.