My husband and I just moved to Norway from Los Angeles. We’ve been here about a month and I am trying to understand the new food items and food brands in the supermarket. Can you help me decide what food brands are of quality and which ones aren’t?
Hunting for Brands
Hei Hunting for Brands,
Food standards in Norway are quite different to what they are in many other parts of the world. Food production and processing standards are very high in Norway and many of the ingredients you find in foods in other parts of the world (in the US for example), are not permitted in Norway.
Having said that, your greatest difficulty as far as groceries go in Norway is selection. The selection of what’s on offer in Norway varies widely from city to city and store to store. Some supermarkets & grocery stores focus on a smaller range of products and low prices, while others focus on keeping a wide range available. Unlike in the US, only a few grocery stores actually have deli cases or a meat/seafood/cheese counter. Again, this is about managing costs and dealing with the difficulties in optimizing distribution of some products.
I’d advise you to head to one main store for your weekly shop and quick runs as they tend to be in more residential areas. Head to the foreigner or “ethnic” shops in your area for fruit and veg if you can. In the foreigner shops you can also find a lot of seasonings and ingredients that you will rarely find in the Norwegian stores (like cornmeal). Also, they will be shamelessly much much cheaper. For higher quality salmon, go to a fish monger in the city you live in. And for better quality cold cults, go to a butcher.
One of my biggest tips is to shop on iHerb. Finding iHerb online 2 years ago changed my life in Norway. I order a lot on iHerb now. I love it because it’s very cost effective, has a wide selection of food items and shipping to Norway is very reasonable.
Hope that helps and keep your questions coming!