Thursday, September 8, 2016

Norwegian National Cake

Let's add a little world culture into the mix, shall we? As you know, I moved to London in May and have been excitedly exploring the city and getting adapted to the slightly different culture here. One of the things I was most excited for in moving was the accessibility to other countries and ability to travel more often. This started with a cruise around the Baltic Sea this summer which was an amazing way to sample a lot of rich history and culture in a short amount of time.

Part of the cruise was in Oslo, Norway. I got to see The Scream and the Vigeland Sculpture Garden, two big highlights in Oslo. But I found myself with a bank holiday weekend (basically a long-weekend) and a friend who really wanted to see some fjords in Norway so back to Oslo we went! Granted, fjords are not in Oslo so we drove west to Bergen and also stopped in Flam. This takes approximately 7 hours, btw.

Along the way though, we saw so much of Norway and the different landscapes. There were mountains and rocky plateaus, as well as huge cliffs and waterfalls. They definitely could have filmed Lord of the Rings here. We even had to stop for sheep crossing the road to go back into the hills!

Some must-haves of Norwegian cuisine include:
  • Norwegian National Cake: We were on our way to a piano bar when we saw Cafe Cathedral which had a great patio. But it was against their policy to only serve drinks so we ordered this cake so we could enjoy the atmosphere (and some wine). Layers of light cake are sandwiched with a fluffy meringue or whipped topping. Almonds are also incorporated, almost like an almond sponge cake. It was super light without being overly sweet. That seemed to be a theme among sweets, nothing very heavy or overpowering. 
  • Brown Cheese: This is a very common site, with most places offering brown cheese sandwiches which is a roll with a slice of brown cheese on them. We stopped in Flam at a highly recommended (and most excellent) cafe where you could add brown cheese to waffles! You could also get jam etc. but brown cheese seemed more authentic. 
  • Skillingsboller (Schilling Cake): These are similar to cinnamon rolls but the ones I saw didn't have very much cinnamon filling, just a light dusting of sugar. The rolls are also a lighter dough than American cinnamon rolls but still delicious. Originally, these were sold for just a schilling, hence their name. Now they're a little more expensive but are readily available at Starbucks as well as homegrown bakeries like Baker Brun right on Bergen's wharf. 
If you're a big nature lover, definitely consider Norway when you're planning your next trip! The fjords can be boated around, hiked in or just cruised through. Regardless, you'll get stunning views and very fresh mountain air to clear your head. 

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