Kathrine Sørgård

Waffles make Northern Norway happy

Chance are, you’ll be eating a lot of waffles when travelling around Northern Norway. Here is a small guide where to go and what to ask for when craving that heart-shaped delight.

Well onboard the ferry, ready to cross a fjord, you’re of course heading up to the view lounge on top. Or, if the ferry is old, the worn formica and linoleum lounge under the car deck. The smell of fresh coffee reaches your nostrils, and then you’re led into temptation. A metal platter is full of newly made waffles covered in cling film. Sour cream, raspberry and strawberry jam and often brown cheese are self-service on the side. Who can resist it? When you should be out taking photographs, you end up munching waffles with jam on your chin.

Waffles are everywhere

The museum you visit may have a simple café with coffee and tea for sale. Then the accompaniment of choice if of course waffles. Sometimes, you even make the waffles yourself. If you go to a football match, the volunteering parents of the players make and sell waffles in the break. The profit of course goes to support the team. Every kind of social gathering in the north can be a waffle event.

Waffle time is banter time

At the Fiskarheimen (Fisherman’s home) on the island of Røst, the waffles are ready at9 am every day. That is of course an excellent occasion to meet the locals. On the tiny island of Myken with a handful of inhabitants, the shop is open only 2 hours a day. Then you can combine your shopping with a waffle and a banter with the locals. No waffles, no local gossip.

Seagull eggs make good waffles

Without eggs, you cannot make waffles. In Northern Norway, eggs from seabirds have always been a welcome addition in the nesting season in May-June. Everybody knows you can only take one or two eggs from each nest, be it a seagull or an eider duck. Then the hatching process will go un undisturbed. Take them all, and the birds may give up the nesting process for this year.

Many kinds of eggs can be used

More surprising are cod eggs, or cod roe.  In January-February, cod fishing is in full swing. Then loads of cod roe is available. It works just as well as bird’s eggs for waffles, and you can make regular sweet waffles. They taste just as good as chicken egg waffles, and there is no salty or seafood taste to it.

Toppings vary

Jam is very popular on waffles; supermarket bough raspberry or strawberry, or if you’re good at berry picking; trollkrem – lingonberries whipped with sugar and eggwhite, or cloudberries. Sour cream is a favourite for many, as is the Norwegian brown cheese. A less-know and very northern variety is gomme – a dairy product reminiscent of cottage cheese, but with a distinctly sweet taste.

Savoury waffles fill you up

Just like there are savoury pancakes, you can also make savoury waffles. Then you just leave out the sugar from the batter. In parts of Helgeland, you can get “høna med ægg”  (“chicken with egg”). Another favourite filling is “kørv”, a sort of hybrid between a sausage and a meatloaf. The Jekt Trade Museum in Bodø is one of our favourites; they serve a variety of toppings, including stockfish.