Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shopping Norwegian Food in Oslo

Taking food home from a destination is great fun. As you open up things at home purchased abroad you extend your stay a little longer. For many Norway is a very exotic country to visit, but I am sad to say that it is often rather hard to find high quality food products to take home. For decades the Norwegian Farmers Cooperatives have been allowed to replace high quality food products by mass produced and inferior foods at often a ridiculously high price. Now - this is changing as small producers over the whole country finally has discovered the hungry traveller as a new potential market.

Oslo has an increasing number of places where you can get hold of locally produced foods. Here are a few and I will extend the list further as I continue to explore the city.

Favourably reviewed in Le Monde - Fenaknoken

Fenaknoken is located by Oslo City Hall. The cook Eirik Bræk, his father Oddmund and uncle Gudbrand has established maybe the place to explore Norwegian food culture. Here you can get the famous fenalår, salted and cured leg of lamb as well as other more exotic products. As an example I once supplied a friend of my family living in the UK with cured reindeer heart that I had bought here.

At Fenaknoken you can get a wide variety of products as locally produced cheese, home made jams (try their rowan berry jelly - yum!), flat bread, dried fruits. You can buy the infamous smalahove (cured and salted sheepshead), as well as dried meat from wild sheep. Fenaknoken is a must for the culinary tourist, and even the French paper Le Monde is said to have had a very favourable review of the shop, calling it one of the best sights of Oslo. I have, however not been able to find the article on the net.


Address: Tordenskiolds g 7
Phone: + 47 22 42 34 57
Fax: + 47 22 42 34 78
Website: (Norwegian only)
Find Fenaknoken on the map of Oslo

Erling Moe AS - an institution in Oslo

Sadly closed its doors in 2009

At Youngstorget, close to Storgaten, Oslos 2nd main shopping street, you find Erling Moe AS. This has been the place for lovers of fresh fish and seafood in Oslo for nearly 40 years. The atmosphere reminds you of times long gone, too - so visiting Erling Moe means a little time travel, as well..

As you pass the windows you can enjoy a wonderful display of fresh fish, crabs, langoustines, lobsters and prawns. Here you can buy your Bacala, dried salted codfish to bring home and why not bite into one of their hot home made fish cakes. At Erling Moe you can get a wide selection of frozen game as well, not available in your everyday grocery shop.

Erling Moe AS

Youngstorget 2, 0181 Oslo
Phone: + 47 22 42 71 01
Find Erling Moe AS on the map of Oslo

Farmers Markets - monthly small scale food markets in Oslo

In June, small scale producers had gathered in the lower part of Karl Johans Gate for a large farmers market. This was a great experience, as you were able to appreciate the wide variety of products under offer from all regions of the country.

This was an exception, though, but monthly you may visit a farmers market at Vibesgate at Majorstuen. This fall there will be markets on the following dates:
  • October 6th
  • November 3rd
  • December 1st
  • December 8th
It is really worth while to visit these markets if you are in town, as there are a great selection of products to buy, and many are preserved so you can put it in you suitcase and bring them home, as a memory of Norway.

See more on the June Farmers market here

Pølsemakermester Strøm-Larsen - your neighbourhood butcher since 1904

At Torshov, in North Eastern Oslo, you find another Oslo institution. Strøm-Larsen have supplied the area with fresh, salted, smoked and cured meat since 1904. It was the great-grandfather the opened the shop, making Jan Strøm-Larsen the 4th generation to run the family business.

Strøm-Larsen cure and smoke their own meat, and they are the only butcher in town that still make their own home-made sausages. Strøm-Larsen must definitely be a stop on your culinary sightseeing in Oslo.

Pølsemakermester Strøm-Larsen

Vogts gate 53, 0477 Oslo
Phone: +47 22 09 31 80
Fax: + 47 22 22 08 77
Find Strøm-Larsen on the map of Oslo

SADLY - CLOSED DOWN! Farmers Market - a newcomer

I discovered this interesting new shop while walking through Grünerløkka, a trendy downtown area, a few days ago. As I entered I discovered that this is definitely a place to recommend, as the selection of different products were very impressive indeed.

The owner, Thomas Gjording had a large number of different small scale produced cheese, jam, cured and smoked meat to offer. So this is the place to find a little something you may bring home and relive your visit to the Norwegian capital. And there are over 100 organic products for sale at Farmers Market.

Here you can get cheese from Gaula Gårdsmeieri, and from the "Den Blinde Ku" - dairy, the latter even supply its products to the European market. Another line of products are the jams and jellys produced by Stabburstua in Varteig, just outside Fredrikstad. From Sigdal, Modum and Krødsherad in Buskerud county you can get a wide variety of products from the brand Eventyrsmak, as different egg and meat products as well as locally grown herbs and spices.

Farmers Market
Markveien 56
Phone 40 00 58 82

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lord of the fees says: Stand during flights and travel free!

"On July 3rd I wrote a story on Spring Airlines' idea to cut costs by allowing people to stand during flights. I ended the story by saying: "Let us hope that the idea is turned down by Chinese aviation authorities. If not, you may soon be standing on Ryanair flights as well, believe me!!" Am I getting psychic? No, it just tells you how predictable Ryanair's Michael O'Leary is! "

Sky news reports on his last idea. Inspired by Spring Airlines, he will remove five rows in the back of the airplane and offer those willing to stand free tickets.

Michael O'Leary knows, however, as well as I do, that a free ticket at Ryanair is not free. In addition to the price of the ticket you will have to pay national taxes, pay to go to the toilet, pay to check in extra luggage, pay to pay, and on and on and on.....

He even wanted to make you pay if you were overweight, but dropped after intense protests.

That certainly makes Michael O'Leary Lord of the Fees.......

Ryanair's last stunt must be approved by the Irish aviation authorities. Let us hope that they do not approve this absurd idea. I will certainly keep you posted!

Monday, July 06, 2009

5 best roadside diners in Norway 2009

View Best diners along Norwegian roads 2009 in a larger map

How many times have you stopped by the road, in order to to get a meal, and found the meat to be burnt, the fish tough, vegetables over cooked and the gravy tasting like something out of packet. Well, Norwegian roadside restaurants have had a notoriously bad reputation. In order to get better, and more healthy food for those of us traveling along the roads summertime, a group studying nutrition at the University of Oslo and DHL drivers have tested food under offer at diners in Norway. Here are the winners.

  1. Marché Storebaug Øst/Vest, Rygge
    Swiss restaurant chain operating in the Eastern part of Norway. Tasty food with a large selection of vegetables. Nice staff.

  2. Sofias Café og Bar, Geilo
    Diner with a healthy focus. Local ingredients and bake their own bread.

  3. Nye Spydeberg Pizza - Li Qua, Spydeberg
    Chinese diner with a large menu of oriental food. Pizza and burgers available for junk food lovers

  4. By the Way, Kløfta
    Breakfast, lunch, and dinner available. A wide range of meat and fish on the menu, and a very impressive salad bar.

  5. Marché Bistro, Kjellstad, Lier
    Swiss restaurant chain operating in the Eastern part of Norway. Tasty food with a large selection of vegetables. Nice staff.
More roadside dinners?

See what we ate at BJ's diner by the N3 highway between Johannesburg and Durban