Brente Mandler loosely translates to ‘candied almonds’ in Norwegian, and a yearly Christmas tradition to make in Norway. You will find these in Sweden and Denmark too and you can see these sweet and crunchy ‘brente mandler’ in the Christmas markets in Germany, where it’s common to add a touch of cinnamon to them. I love this addition so I’ve chosen to include it in my recipe I’m sharing with you here as well.
Nøtteroser is a more modern version of a Norwegian holiday cookie that I didn’t grow up with, but in reality, they are like a version of “kransekakestenger”. Made with ground-up nuts (almonds and hazelnuts in this instance), mixed with powdered sugar and a bit of aquafaba (my vegan substitute for egg whites), they are baked, cooled and then dipped in chocolate.
Norwegian ‘tekake’…such a simple and satisfying cake, really no Norwegian food blog should be without a recipe for it…Tekake literally translates to “tea cake” but can be considered Norway’s coffee cake. I remember buying this cake at bakeries as a special treat as for some reason it wasn’t something my mom made at home. I remember the cake being doughy (it is made with yeast not baking powder), but had this deliciously crunchy, sweet, and cinnamon-scented topping that made me swoon.
Bacalao is a Spanish term for dried, salted cod but also refers to a flavorful, slightly spicy stew with tomatoes, roast peppers, potatoes, and olives…Before I continue, I want to make clear that I do not eat fish anymore…So with this blog post, I’m giving you the ultimate bacalao: with all the familiar flavors, added nutrient-rich ingredients (chickpeas are rich in fiber, fish have none) that are less costly for both your wallet and the environment—and I really promise you won’t miss the fish.
I think one of my fondest childhood memories was to walk into our garden and behind the stabbur (storage outhouse) with a cup of sugar where a wild bunch of rhubarbs grew. I would dip a rhubarb stalk into the sugar, and marvel at the tartness of the rhubarb being mellowed out by the granular sugar. While not sounding like a gourmet experience, to my child’s heart it was. It was a sure sign that summer was here and that there were a lot of other things to look forward to – among others bowls of fresh strawberries, which we also grew in our garden.
Potatoes. What could be more Norwegian than that? … Today, Norwegians are more adventurous when it comes to preparing potato dishes. We eat them mashed, fried, and baked, and shred them to form special potato dumplings called “potetball” or “kumler.” During midsummer, however, new potatoes are in season in Norway and the most popular dish to make is undoubtedly the potato salad.
It’s no secret that Norwegians love bread. Not only do we love and eat a lot of it in general, but many are also fantastic bakers. I think it’s generally more common for people in Scandinavia to make their own loaves at home than in any other region of the world. We eat bread for breakfast, lunch, and even as a late evening snack before bed. Whether it’s for our lunch box or the more fancy open-faced sandwiches, bread has always played a huge part in our diet.
Pytt i panne is a Norwegian everyday classic dish I probably would most closely compare to Asian stir fry, or a British bubble and squeak or even a good old American hash. Made up of leftovers, it typically consists of fried potatoes, onions, and meat.
Pytt i panne loosely translates to ‘small pieces in a pan’, and that’s exactly what it is. Pytt also indirectly means “everything is going to be ok”, and perhaps that is what they refer to with this dish, as not much can go wrong when you throw in a little bit of this and that.
In my household growing up, all we ate on a daily basis were whole wheat or seeded, whole grain loaves my mom made from scratch. They were healthy and quite heavy but I loved them. I think this is why I often thought of white bread as quite naughty, something reserved only for a special occasion. On the occasional weekend, my mom would splurge and make fletteloff, a braided, light, and fluffy loaf made from white flour that had a slight sweetness to it.
There have been a few recipes I’ve struggled with as a vegan chef, and vanilla custard has definitely been one of them. Either the texture came out too gelatinous (it’s supposed to be thick and creamy, not jiggly!) or too runny, or the color was off. I see no point in making something if it doesn’t both taste and look good, so the experimentation continued.