Hvordan vi spiser norsk pølser

Would a hot dog by any other name taste so sweet? Well in Norway, they're conveniently disguised as "pølser," the general word for sausage. Since they're European you might be fooled into thinking they taste better than the American sausages we know and love (even if they are made of pig butts). BUT you would be wrong. They are exactly the same!

And they're omnipresent in Scandinavia. Don't ask me why, they just are.

In a way, it's quite homey. Walk into any 7-11 (yes, they have 7-11 here!) and you'll find an assortment of hot dogs rolling on the grill, just like in the states.

But here, hot dogs are even more versatile. Bargain-hunting at a loppemarked (literally, flea market)? You'll find pølser for sale there, too, along with delicious Norwegian waffels. Say you'd like to see the sights at Vigelandsparken. In the grassy areas surrounding the sculptures and rose gardens, you're liable to find groups of people huddled around an engangsgrill (literally, one time's grill, a charcoal-filled foil contraption designed to use once and throw away). And what are those pink logs lined up neatly over the flame? You guessed it! Pølser!

And of course, when you go camping, you bring pølser to grill over a campfire. The hot dog in the glamour shots is one such pølse, hot off the stick. I followed it up with toasted marshmallows, to round out the nutrition profile of my meal.


One different thing about hot dog consumption in Scandinavia is that the wieners are often enrobed not in a fluffy wheat bun, but rather a tortilla-like flatbread called lompe. It's made of potato flour, it's bland, and honestly I like buns better. But when in Rome.... (For the record, you can get buns here, it's just that lomper are more common.)

So here's how it's done: after grilling your pølse, lay it smack in the middle of your lompe, and slather in ketchup and mustard. (Or whatever else you like--in Scandinavia, hot dog toppings run the gamut from ordinary to...just weird. Shrimp salad atop a hot dog? No thanks.)

Next, just roll her up. Very portable, and poses less mess risk than a messy hot dog wedged inside a bun.

And of course, consume!

Yeah that's me. Yeah, that's not flattering. All in the name of cultural understanding!


We Are Never Full said...

what an interesting post! you've taken something as boring as the american hot dog and kicked it up to something culturally fabulous!

Catherine said...

I gotta say...pølser are nowhere near as good as American hotdogs. But they are an excellent vehicle for getting sprøstektløk (fried onion bits) too your mouth!! And of course, when on a koiatur you really can't eat anything else. Thanks for your post; I just moved home after living two years in Norway and now I'm feeling nostalgic!

Veronica said...

Fascinating...hotdogs on tortilla like bread. I'm not so sure about that. I sometimes think that a good hotdog is all about the bun.

Piper Robert said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. Very interesting.

altadenahiker said...

Glad I found your blog! And I think your shitty camera does quite well. My parents are from Norway and I visit frequently, so you'll give me my fix for awhile.

smörgåsbroad said...

we are never full: maybe not fabulous, it is still a hot dog :) but peculiar and characteristically norwegian--definitely.

catherine: I have to agree. I'm looking forward to having a "real" hotdog when I get home in January. Why were you living in Norway might I ask?

altadenahiker: glad I could feed your nostalgic craving...or whatever. :)

Catherine said...

I did my master's degree in Trondheim. It was a fabulous two years. Why are you in Oslo, may I ask? :) Snakker du norsk ennå?

Anonymous said...

Hm, that's an interesting view… NIcely writtem - although calling the norwegian hot-dog the same as the american is horrific!


All the variations and all the different kinds are not like the ones that are normally eaten in the states, at least not in San Francisco…

Better… Muuuuuch better!

Ole Marius