Fårikål is Norway’s national dish. A casserole of seasonal lamb and cabbage makes this simple dish a favourite autumn treat. It is traditionally served with new potatoes, cowberry sauce and crispy flat bread with a cold local beer on the side (but ice water allows the flavour to be savoured).
Norwegians expect this dish to get ugly – in fact, if it looks too pretty you probably haven’t done it right. (Ours must have been cooked to perfection as it took a couple of hundred shots to get some ‘pretty’ photos.) The trick to this meal is to use real mutton. Not lamb but sheep. Because mutton has lived longer it has had more chance to get cuddly. If the meat is too lean you don’t get the true Fårikål taste as the fat is supposed to soak into the cabbage.
Almond is important in Norwegian cake tradition. Kransekake, or ring cake, is an edible table display. It is made from a special almond paste and is baked into rings that when stacked on top of each other make a cone. Almond torte, or Mandelterte, is a stiff slice cake made out of an almond paste and butter cream usually with a chocolate or caramel coating. This cake is common to most countries.