Sunday, July 19, 2009

Eatling Local in Bergen, Norway

"Pingvinen", the restaurant Aileen originally chose for her 30th birthday dinner ( by reading about it in a guide)- not knowing that pingvinen is Norwegian for penguin*. We had to come back a different day because they were full up on June 17. But, she chose it because she'd read that they specialize in traditional Norwegian fare. This food may actually qualify more as "traditional" than truly "local" to the Bergen area. But, I promised a post on local eating from our trip and this is probably going to be the best I can muster up.

We all agreed that the best approach at this restaurant was to order five different entrees for the 6 of us (as Karen was sick this particular evening) and share them around. This way, we all got to try each thing.

Dried salted cod ( similar to Bacalhau in Portuguese cuisine)

Fish Souffle



We also had a dish with meatballs, but I don't seem to have come home with a photograph of the meatballs. Overall, the food was quite delicious. A few (well, specifically the whale) unusual enough to qualify more as "interesting" than "good" tasting, in my opinion. But, the vegetables served with these items were all nicely cooked and very fresh tasting.

The crew heading back to our hotel after a delicious and very unusual dinner at Pingvinen.

In general, the food we had throughout Norway was much better than I had expected. Fruits and vegetables were usually very fresh. The bread served with breakfast, at every hotel, was full of whole grains and really wonderful. We had very fine picnic lunches of flatbreads with cheeses, sliced meats and fruit. A couple of evenings, one or more of us also had reindeer - either in a stew or sliced and served with mushrooms. So, although VERY expensive, food was a pleasant surprise throughout our trip - in small towns and in the bigger cities.

*For the occasional readers who are not familiar with our family, I'm thinking I might explain why it was such a coincidence that Aileen chose this restaurant without knowing what the name means. She is a biologist and a significant amount of her work has been with research on penguins in Antarctica.


Ann said...

Dried salted cod ( similar to Bacalhau in Portuguese cuisine)...

oh, right... bacalhau.. that clarifies things for me.

Joan said...

I thought I'd impress you with my extensie knowledge of Portuguese cuisine. Actually, the waitress told us that's what it was. I wouldn't have remembered it, but ardie knew what Bacalhau was and so she remembered it. All I could rememer was "dried fish". But, in any case, it was tasty.

Anonymous said...

I was hoping you'd post your eating in the Norway trip! It sounds wonderful with all that fresh fruit and veg so readily available - and makes what one would usually get in a hotel here in the States seem pale and puny.
Is the food largely meat/fish based over there?

ckw said...

wow- that is a unique variety of foodly delights-what fun said...

You do realize this means Santa Claus is never coming to your house ever again, right?

Joan said...

Living: I wouldn't say it is meat or fish-based exactly. But, those items are pretty much always on offer. But, we also had a plentiful array of vegetables with each meal and many of them were creatively prepared.

Ian:We were going to send Santa an email to say that we really only ate fake reindeer meat (you know, like fake crabmeat?)