Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Norway, Day 1

I figured it was easier to write about my experiences here than to people individually. Plus, I'm sure to have some... ahem, experiences.. here that I wouldn't have in the US.

The flight over wasn't as bad as I thought it would be - about 8 hours or so in the air. It was an overnight flight and I thought I'd be able to sleep but that was quite impossible. I'm thinking about buying a pillow at iKea and bringing it home with me - maybe that will help me sleep on the plane. ;)

I'll say "Norwegian" a lot but really I mean Scandinavian. I think there is a lot that is common between the countries. Not having visited the others, I can't say for sure but I'm going off of what Jan says and from what I do know about the area.

Mostly, I think I'll talk about food as that seems to be the biggest difference so far. I'll also impart language lessons from time to time as I encounter them - just have to figure out how to add the special vowels they have.

First lesson of the day: Kaffe is coffee. It's stronger than most basic American coffee but not as strong as Starbucks. It's quite good but I'd recommend learning how many "cups" equals how many "liters". It's important when futzing around with coffee makers - trust me.

Last night Jan made dinner - pasta from scratch with a cheesy cream sauce, chicken, mushrooms and prosciutto. It was delicious and a good introduction to home cooked Norwegian meals.

Side note: I did tell him I would try anything he put in front of me but he doesn't want to force me to eat anything. He's so sweet. <3

This morning he made breakfast. I guess a lot of meals are somewhat tappas style - just put out lots of little stuff you like. He cooked bacon and eggs (Swedish bacon is a lot saltier than American bacon but the rest is the same), then put out an assortment of stuff: bread, butter, peanut butter and strawberry jam (in case I didn't like the other stuff), yellow cheese, brown cheese and finally, pickled herring in tomato sauce.

Bacon & Eggs - check. Not much of a difference there. Same with PB & Jam, butter, bread and the yellow cheese. I guess they have 3 kinds of cheese - white cheese, yellow cheese and brown cheese lol. We had yellow cheese last night with the pasta - it's kind of like a type of mozzarella but not. Hard to explain but good.

Tried the herring. It wasn't totally disgusting, I didn't need to spit it out or anything but it's not something I would request. They call it a tomato sauce but it's more like a shrimp cocktail sauce with onions - not as much of a bite as American cocktail sauce but very much the same flavor. So, not my thing.

The brown cheese was a pleasant surprise. I've seen YouTube videos of Americans trying brown cheese for the first time and I was not really looking forward to it. First, a few things about brown cheese - it is cheese, made the same way or similarly to regular cheese. It's brown because of the sugar content in the cream according to Jan. Like an other sugar, the longer you cook it, the more of a caramel you get. Same thing with this cheese apparently.

It was really pretty good. It's a fairly soft cheese and comes in varying degrees of "brownness". The darker brown it is, the more the sugar was cooked. I tried a fairly light version of it, Jan's favorite, Flotemysost (the first "o" is supposed to have a slash thru it). It was a mild flavored cheese that was pretty sweet - much more sweet than I'm used to, but good. It had a later taste of a soft caramel. Now I'd guess that a sweet, soft, caramel tasting cheese sounds pretty bizarre but it was quite good.

One thing I have noticed is that things are generally smaller here. When you buy a package of bacon, it's not like an American package of bacon. It probably has about 1/4 of what you'd get in an American package. The pillows are more square than rectangular. They are very conscious of and very good at managing space.

We're heading downtown in a little bit and I'm going to bring my camera. We'll see what kind of pics and shopping we do!

D

1 comment:

Bobbie said...

Where is day 2?