|See: I won't starve!|
I went grocery shopping yesterday. Which is easier said than done in Norway. Not that there aren't enough supermarkets around: I counted about 5 within 15 minutes walking distance and many more if I take the bus. It's not even as if they have limited opening hours: from 7am to 11pm on a weekday and 8am to 9pm on a Saturday is quite normal. The main problem is the supply.
I was spoiled in the Netherlands, having a large selection of fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat. And not overly expensive either. In Norway it's a bit different. There is plenty of milk (skimmed, semi-skimmed, full fat, buttermilk, kefir, non-lactose, soy, rice etc to be had). But yoghurt only comes in small pots and custard is something they apparently don't know over here. So, you are reduced to buying small pots of vanilla pudding and the like. Nice, but fairly expensive.
Fruit comes a plenty: apples and oranges/mandarins are quite cheap, others you need to fork out a bit more for. Fresh vegetables however is a different matter. They have all sorts of cabbages (red, white, Chinese, cauliflower, broccoli) and root vegetables. They sell some lettuce and salad as well and of course leeks. Which is mostly the same as in the Netherlands. But where I was able to buy potted veggies in the Netherlands (leeks, spinach, endives, peas, carrots, beans), they have not such a big choice over here. They love corn and you can get canned beans and peas and I think carrots. Oh, and tomatoes. But nothing else. Not even apple sauce, which was always my go-to vegetable if I didn't want to cook.
Meat is yet another matter: they have plenty of it, just different from the Netherlands. They love their kjøttkaker (meatballs), which are about half the size of their Dutch counterpart, which you can find everywhere. They are also big on sausages, all different sizes and tastes apparently (I have yet to taste). They have their 'normal' meat and their pinnekjøtt (stick meat). That last thing is something specifically for Christmas and I am not really sure what it is! The thing that surprises me most though is the fact that minced meat is really expensive considering.
The worst thing though is the bread. Which is difficult in any new country, since they never have the bread you want. I have now settled on polarbrød (translated: polar bread), flat bread that has been frozen the minute it has baked. It looks like a mixture of crumpets and ordinary bread and tastes quite alright. What to put on it is another matter. But fortunately there the choice is more like the Netherlands. Except for the hagelsag (chocolate sprinkles), which is something that I can't find anywhere here, not even in the cake decoration section.
Now, if you are reading this and thinking I am going to starve to death: it won't come to that. There is plenty out here for me to eat. Then again, if I do loose a few pounds, that won't be so bad...