I love food, though I would not consider myself a “foodie.” I love to eat and try new things and I truly believe that if you are going to experience a new place, then you cannot truly do so until you engage with the locals and experience the local cuisine. After almost a full week in Norway, I have eaten some of the most delicious food. The hotel breakfast buffets, as well as the one on the cruise have been spectacular. Every morning there has been a beautiful spread of smoked salmon, eggs, potatoes, sausage, bacon, vegetables, cold cuts and cheese, rolls, yogurt, oatmeal and fruit. I have stood and looked and thought that I should probably not try everything, but then I realize that breakfast in Norway has been one of my two included meals, so I pushed that negativity out of my life and every morning I have tried everything. I’m definitely partial to the fresh smoked salmon, but the salami and cheese on a roll is also great to pack up a couple and save for a snack later.
In Tromso, I ate at Emma’s Dream Kitchen on New Year’s Eve. We began our meal with smoked salmon which was followed by creamed fish soup, fried Christmas Cod with potato puree and a pork spare rib. We then cleansed our pallets with champagne sorbet, before being delivered the breast of Wild Grouse. The presentation of the Grouse was spectacular, if you are prepared for the breast of a bird to look like prime rib. I tried it with a smile on my face, because that’s what you have to, but I was not a fan. So of course I simply set my fork aside and waited on my dessert.
Complaining about the food in another country is an issue I am quite passionate about after having served food to tourists for many years in Times Square. There is a difference between not enjoying something, but trying it with an open mind and accepting the consequences, and complaining about something because it is not what you are used to. I certainly don’t expect to like every piece of food I am going to try in the next few months, but I am certain that I will never ask for my money back or complain because it is different. Now, if there is in fact something wrong with it, or a giant bug in it, I might complain, but generally I can think of many reasons not to.
But, I digress. My dessert at Emma’s Dream Kitchen was a chocolate bomb, which was similar to a molten chocolate cake, but with more of an outer shell similar to that amazing hardening stuff they use at Dairy Queen.
Then for my first dinner on the cruise, we had a creamed carrot soup as an appetizer, which was followed by a thick and delicious fillet of Arctic Char over potatoes and grilled squash. For dessert that night we had cloudberry (which is a native Norwegian berry that grows in very high altitudes) parfaits and tiny pieces of chocolate torte. Every bite was amazing.
For my second dinner on the cruise, we were given a shellfish buffet. MMMMM! There were prawns, saltwater crawfish, three different types of crab, tiny lobsters, oysters, clams, and mussels. The two ladies at my tables and I went back to the line at least three times, and every trip was a new adventure. For dessert we had chocolate torte, with blueberry sorbet and a cheese plate that was absolutely divine.
Upon leaving the cruise, I went on a king crab excursion. After watching how they are caught and killed, our group was driven by snow mobile sled to this cabin in the middle of nowhere. We were given tea and coffee while they cooked the crabs and then they brought them in on giant platters. I am pretty sure I ate 7, but we are going to stick with 6 just for the sake of not sounding like a huge glutton.
Then I enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Snow Hotel. Our appetizer was heart of wild sheep with a small cheese spread to go with it. It was so delicious. The couple next to me snarled the second they heard what it was and suddenly had so many allergies that they had forgotten to mention when they made their reservations. Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant will definitely understand my sentiments here. They were begrudgingly given salads and didn’t notice the looks they received from the staff. After heart of wild sheep, I enjoyed a delicious fillet of grilled halibut with grilled vegetables, polenta, and a tomato relish. I was still kind of full from my king crabs, but you better believe I had room for dessert when it arrived. A block of creamy chocolate goodness, ice cream and something that resembled hot applesauce. It wasn’t apple, but do to new information overload, I can’t remember which fruit it was.
Overall, I must say that Norway has fed me well. I have not been disappointed, my belly has been full for almost the entire time I have been here and for dinner tonight I spent my last cash NKR on a slice of 7-11 pizza and some Pringles at the airport. That’s right folks, it was filling and just in time, because I head to Sweden in the morning.