Comfort Food à la Norvégienne

Over the weekend I busted my vocal cords from hollering and yelling so much at my son’s wrestling tournament, I lost my voice. While I’m slightly aware this is just one of those subtle messages from I don’t know where telling me to shut up, talk less and instead sit my butt down and write more, I’m feeling sick – and therefore de facto homesick. So, before I go to take a nap, what does any self respecting Norwegian ex-pat do but rummage the fridge and pantry for some Norwegian food, any Norwegian food. And here’s what I found:

My childhood favorite: Mill’s Kaviar. When schmeared on some crackers, or, ideally, on the crispy Wasa bread, paired with a crisp, full-bodied glass of…milk, it hits the spot. This caviar is basically a mix of smoked cod roe with mayo that you squeeze out of a tube, and about as glamorous in Norwegian culture as the PB&J is in the US.

It was fun when the kids were young and at play dates would request a sandwich with “some caviar, please!” for lunch, to the baffled look and raised eyebrows of the host mom. That’s right, serve my kid up some CAVIAR! Or not. The quickly learned the difference of what to ask for away and what they might find at home.

Now, when they come home from a bad day and need some comfort food, they ask if we can have risengrynsgrøt (hot rice porridge) for dinner. As the obliging Viking mamma that I am, I make sure the pantry is well stocked, but these days it’s their turn to do the cooking.