Sometimes it is very hard to find foods in Norway that are just every day life in your home country.  I recently discovered calamari in the stores.  Calamari is eaten by the bucket loads in Australia and can be found at any fish’n’chip shop.  Here octopus is only used for fish bait and not for humans.  But I found some perfectly good human octopus in the frozen food section.  It’s not the same as the fresh stuff but the smell when it was cooking certainly made me all warm and fuzzy inside.  I wonder how long it will be until crab-sticks hit the market.

The other week I spotted some ‘heritage’ style tomaotes – zebra green, yellow and purple cherries, purple miniatures and a roma.  There were only 11 tomatoes in the mixed pack (seven of them were cherries) but I had to buy some.  At kr.40,- for the lot (about US$8.00) it wasn’t the best buy.  They were grown in Norway but after a day the little ones were starting to shrivel with age.  But I just hope that this is the start of new things to come.  Buying them was more about supporting the cause than enjoying a kr.3,-/75c purple cherry.

There is also a new development in the Norwegian food industry. Food labeled with ‘NYT NORGE’ is slowly creeping onto the shelves.  This label signifies food that is ‘Norwegian’.  On the About Nyt Norge page of their website it reads:

NYT NORWAY is a new labeling for Norwegian food. Labeling will make Norwegian products more visible in shops and thus easier to find for you as a consumer.

It is a long time coming as most other countries have been doing this for at least 20 years.  However, some exceptions for ‘all Norwegian’ have been made.  This is because Norway doesn’t (and can’t) grow everything because of its climate.  Many goods have to be imported so this laxes the rules a bit compared to other countries:

The main criteria:

  • – The raw materials shall generally be Norwegian.
  • – The raw materials will generally be produced on farms that have established KSL (Quality assurance in agriculture).
  • – Food will be in full be made by businesses located in Norway.
  • – For meat, milk and eggs is 100% origin.For the composite food products, the requirement that a minimum of 75% of the ingredients (in weight) will have a Norwegian origin.

However it isn’t until the end that the new government brand makes things a little more clear:

NYT NORWAY shows that food is of Norwegian quality!

So, it means that it is NOT necessarily 100% Norwegian food but just 100% Norwegian ‘standard of quality’.  Oh well, at least they are trying. 

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