Hei hei (Norwegian’s hello)! I am back from my lovely and very relaxing holiday. If you cannot guess by now, I made my very first trip to Norway and Denmark in September. Scandinavia is so gorgeous and I wonder why it took me so long to get there. Of course, it helps when my friend Evie stays in Norway and guided me through my trip.
Evie was not just my tour guide, she was also my host during my stay in Norway. For the next couple of days, I planted myself in “Hotel Evie”. Though not a morning person, Evie woke up early during the weekend to make me traditional Norwegian breakfast – smørbrød or better known as open sandwiches.
The Norwegians eat very simply. Part of it is because the cost of living is very high in Norway and another part is that they value the quality of food. They make sure whatever they put in their mouth is worthy of their tummies.
On the first day, Evie prepared my much anticipated brown cheese sandwich. I have been hearing about brown cheese for a good one year. From TV shows to magazines, everyone is going crazy about it. I had a small slice of the mild brown cheese. The first bite reminded me of caramelised condensed milk. It was milky, sweet and smoky. Traditionally the Norwegians pair brown cheese with jam and place everything on whole grain bread.
By the way, the Norwegians don’t really get the “concept of white bread”. It is almost impossible to get sliced white bread in Norway. I gave a Norwegian acquaintance a jar of kaya (coconut jam). She tilted her head and went “I guess I must eat this with white bread”. From that statement, I could sense her reluctance to eat white bread. Of course, I assured her that kaya tasted good with white or whole grain bread.
Beside the brown cheese sandwich, Evie also prepared a ham and pepper sandwich (with a touch of mayo). For very obvious reasons, this is my least favourite sandwich.
On Sunday, Evie made another open sandwich which comprised of hard boiled egg and kaviar. Kaviar is a fish roe spread and one of the favourite brands is actually Swedish Kalles. The first bite into the sandwich – the kaviar tasted fishy to me. And the subsequent bite left a mild bitter after-note. I am definitely not a big fan of kaviar.
Norwegian’s smørbrød is not limited to the ones that I had – sometimes they will have liver pâté, salami and so on. Open sandwiches may look simple but they are always prepared with quality ingredients and care.