Norwegian Language Blog

Fall food in Norway-Høstmat i Norge Posted by on Oct 29, 2010 in Culture, Traditions

While I have yet to experience an entire høst in Norway, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy mat that Norwegians typically enjoy at this time of year.  The Norwegian National Dish is fårikål-lamb and cabbage stew.  It is enjoyed at other times of the year as well and prepared in different ways, but is most popular to eat om høsten.  A messy dish, fårikål inneholder usually (consists of) lam, kål (cabbage), and salt og pepper-these very few ingredienser make for a very tasty dish.  In fact, the best way to make this dish is to use mutton, det vil si (that is to say), sheep because mutton has lived longer and thus provides a richer flavor because the fat content is greater and better penetrates the kål.  There is even a National Fårikål Society!

Fårikål is usually served with some kind of potet-either nypoteter (new potatoes) or mandelpoteter (almond potatoes, which have a richer flavor).  In addition, rabbe (the popular term for rutabaga), a root vegetable known as ´the Norwegian Orange´that has been cultivated in Norway since the mid-1600s.  To make the dish even more flavorful, a rich sauce accompanies it, commonly a sauce made from a sopp or sjampignon (mushroom), such as chanterelles.  Å plukke sopp (Picking mushrooms) is a tradtional høstaktivitet (fall activity) in Norway and chanterelles are a much sought after sopp.  They are known as the ´gold of the forest´and contain hints of pepper and aprikos (apricot).

The following is an oppskrift for a lam måltid that Lars Ulstein, the chef at the Norwegian Embassy in the U.S. likes to make.



2 pounds lamb

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and pepper


1 ½ pounds of almond potatoes/baby red potatoes

4 slices bacon

3 ounces butter

Red wine sauce

¾ cup red wine

1 cup beef stock

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette

3 ounces butter

Salt and pepper, to taste

Rutabaga purée

1 ½ pounds rutabaga

1 ¼ cup milk

2 tablespoons butter


1 pound chanterelles

1 pound red onion

½ cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar


Brown sugar on high heat. Add balsamic vinaigrette, red wine, stock, and bring to a boil. Boil until the liquid is reduced in half. Remove from heat and add butter to thicken it up. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wash potatoes, and then cut them in half. Place potatoes in an oven safe pan or pot, with cut bacon and butter. Bake in oven on 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season the rack of lamb all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a fry pan over high heat. Sear rack of lamb for 1 to 2 minutes on both sides. Roast the lamb in preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on how you prefer your lamb. Let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes, before carving between the ribs.

Rutabaga purée
Peel and dice the rutabaga and cover with milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and simmer until tender. Drain and place in a food processor. Add butter and process to blend, and salt to taste just before serving, so that it stays warm.

Peel and slice onions, and place in a saucepan. Add white wine vinegar and sugar, and let simmer until pink.

Sautée the chanterelles in butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bær (berries) are traditionally a sommer treat, but can be plukket into høst as well.  Jordbær (strawberries), bringebær (raspberries), blåbær (blueberries), tranebær (cranberries), and multebær (cloudberries) are some of the berries that Norwegian families like to plukke om sommeren og høsten. They are all packed with essential vitamins, as well as calcium, magnesium, foliate, and potassium.  Norwegian bær are the best!

A common dessert made from bær, Trollkrem (troll cream), is a common høst treat.  Det inneholder lingonberries, sugar, and whipped egg whites and a dash of vanilla.

Epler (apples) are another common type of frukt harvested in the fall. Hardanger is home to the best epler in Norway and in fact is home to 40 percent of frukt production in the country.  There is an annual competition in Hardanger for the best eplecider.

I must say that høst is my favorite food season in MN, with all the squash, root vegetables, epler, and wild game that is hunted, but I would love to spend an entire høst in Norway and experience all of the seasonal culinary delights.

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About the Author: kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


  1. Dr Abigail E Reynolds:

    This is a wonderful recipe and meal. When I lived in Oslo (1975-1978), my landlady would fix this in a simpler fashion. I would sometimes have this meal at a restaurant fixed in the fashion you described.

    Her way was to simply sear the mutton. Add it to a slow cooker with water, red wine, cabbage, potatoes, peppers, and salt. Slow cook for 4 hours and then serve.

    What a great comfort food meal for fall.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe and reminder of wonderful days long ago.


  2. Stacie:

    I just gotta say, for anyone that has never had fårikål, you MUST try it. After my first trip to Norway and having it prepared for me by my husband-to-be, I was addicted. We live in America, but we still eat fårikål at least once a month. A wonderful traditional Norwegian meal!