The days are getting longer, the sun shining brighter and the flowers have started sprouting, all evidence that spring has arrived in Stavanger. With Easter and all the skiing you can muscle just around the corner, it’s easy to forget about some of the Easter food traditions in Norway.
Below is my list of six Norwegian Easter food traditions to take note of and commit to memory before Easter Sunday begins on April 5.
1. A very traditional Easter supper eaten throughout most of Norway is rakfisk not lamb or ham. Rakfisk is a fermented fish dish made from fresh trout. Rakfisk is traditionally served sliced on flatbrød or lefse and topped with raw onion and sour cream.
2. Although eating lamb during Easter has biblical roots and lamb is a symbol of both Christ and spring, lamb is a more recent addition to the Norwegian Easter tradition. Most of the lamb served in Norway during Easter is imported from abroad or frozen Norwegian lamb from the previous year’s yield. Due to the long and dark winters in Norway the gestation period for sheep is delayed, thus most lambs are not large enough to slaughter in time for Easter.
3. Rogaland county is especially known for its lamb and many estimate that there may be more sheep and lamb living in the area than people. There are several farms raising lamb all over Rogaland county, but special attention must be paid to the lambs grown in Rennesøy and Kvitsøy due to history and the unique taste of lambs raised near the sea.
4. Norwegians eat 20 million oranges during Easter every year. Some believe the tradition of eating oranges during Easter in Norway began as a result of merchant ships returning to Norway during Easter time with the year’s first harvest from southern Europe. Also, as oranges are high in vitamin c, they are quite appreciated after the long & dark winter.
5. Eggs are a symbol of rebirth and chickens are a symbol of fertility, which is why both are symbols of Easter in Norway. Eggs prepared in a variety of ways and egg based dishes are common during Easter.
6. The most popular chocolate eaten during this time of year is the iconic Kvikk Lunsj. Kvikk Lunsj was created in 1937 and has been in production every year since, excluding 1941-1949 due to the Second World War. It’s reported that Norwegians eat in average nine Kvikk Lunsj a year, three during the Easter period.
Be sure to read my EPIC post about Easter in Norway if you haven’t already!
Delicious Norwegian Easter Recipes
Paleo Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (something sweet for the gluten free person in your life)
Kvik Lunsj Cupcakes (the iconic Norwegian candy bar in cupcake form)
Mini Meringues (top with vanilla sauce for a real Norwegian delight!)
Chocolate Meringues (clouds of chocolate goodness)
Trollkrem (“troll cream” – a delicious whipped Norwegian Dessert made with egg whites and jam)
Coffee Ice Cream (Norway’s favorite drink – frozen)
Easter Main Dishes
Slow Cooker Lamb Chops (tender, moist and fall off the bone lamb – made easy in the slow cooker)
Grilled Leg of Lamb (marinated leg of lamb – on the grill)
Lamb Burgers with Srirachi Mayo and Broccoli Slaw (gluten free and low carb, minced lamb burgers with spicy mayo and a healthy slaw on the side)
Side Dishes and Appetizers
Parts of this blog post originally appeared on Stavanger News on April 17, 2014. You can read the original article here.