How To Host The Perfect Norwegian Dinner Party

Norwegian food can be pretty simple, which will hopefully make this dinner party easy to put together!
A close-up of pickled herring

Food can be one of the strongest motivators to visit a country. And if you’re learning the language for a trip, you’ll definitely want to work on your food vocab. But if you want to try Norwegian foods, why wait until you can afford the airfare? You can throw your own Norwegian dinner party right in your own home. 

Norwegian Recipes For The Perfect Dinner Party

Drink: Aquavit

Photo of aquavit in ice
Photo by Marcus Hansson via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

If there is a national drink of Norway, it is likely aquavit (or akevitt). It’s a distilled drink made from potatoes and grain, so not entirely dissimilar from vodka. There are also other spices added, however, giving this a pretty strong flavor. For the most part, aquavit is served during the major holidays in Norway, and the most popular way to drink it would either be as a shot or served with ice. If you want some Norwegian flavor with a cocktail spin on it, however, you can use this recipe for a Tomas Collins, which originated in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Appetizer: Pickled Herring

Fillet of pickled fish with lemon and onion
Photo by Marco Verch via Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Pickled herring is technically a staple food throughout Scandinavia, and Norway is no exception. And while you may not have much experience with the dish, it can be prepared in a number of different ways. One popular preparation in Norway is sursild, which involves adding peppercorns, allspice, cloves, mustard seeds and bay leaves. Make sure to get your dinner party cooking going with these the day before, because to actually be pickled, the herring needs to be refrigerated for a little while.

Main Course: Fårikål

A person preparing Farikal, the national dish of Norway

The staples of Norwegian cuisine can be very “meat and potatoes.” Or in this case, meat and cabbage. This dish, which was named the national dish of Norway in 1927, is a very simple dish of lamb and cabbage, cooked together in a stew. That’s pretty much it. On a cold fall or winter night, however, it is definitely satisfying. Here’s a recipe that maintains the simplicity of the original dish.

Dessert: Krumkakes

A person preparing Krumkakes, a popular dessert around the holidays in Norway

Krumkakes are a very popular holiday pastry in Norway, but it’s your party, and you can serve what you want, when you want. Krumkakes themselves are a pretty simple concept, and you can find a simple recipe for wafer-like consistency here. The recipe doesn’t include any toppings, but this pastry lends itself well to any number of other sweets and treats, including melted chocolate, whipped cream and ice cream.

Key Norwegian Phrases

I’m hungry — Jeg er sulten

I’m full — Jeg er mett

Please — Vær så snill

Thank you — Takk

You’re welcome — Vær så god

Enjoy your meal! — Vel bekomme!

Delicious — Deilig

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