"Kos" and "hygge"
Today, the Danish word “hygge” is being borrowed by many languages around the world. We also use the term in Norwegian of course, but the word we prefer to use is “kos”. www.nordnorge.com is thinking about dark autumn and winter evenings, regardless of whether the cold is biting at your fingertips or mild winds are whipping against the window. Very few people have open stone fireplaces these days, but a little warmth in the stove will make for a cosy ambience. No matter what the weather, we can enjoy some “kos” when we collapse onto the sofa, put our feet up and read a good book or enjoy a good chat. You can put those chores to the back of your mind; there is nothing which can’t wait until later. You could settle back with some delicious Swiss chocolate and French cheese, but we believe “kos” moments are extra special when the food and drink are from North Norway.
Sweet, delicious tempting treats can also be found in Northern Norway.
- Craig Alibone’s delicious chocolates and macaroons, with varieties such as caramel and salt from Saltstraumen, are a delectable delight. A small box raises the level of “kos” considerably.
- Right at the other end of the scale are the exquisite lefse, a type of flatbread which is produced across the whole of Northern Norway.
- When the sun returns, it’s time for some delicious Berliner doughnuts, particularly in Tromsø, where 100,000 of them are enjoyed to celebrate the return of the sun at the end of the blue period on 21 January.
Salt counteracts the sweetness, and also needs to have a distinctive taste.
- A little cheese and biscuits go a long way to raising the “kos” level. On the island of Kjerringøy, cheese is made from cow's milk, while Ålan farm in Lofoten and Bomstad in Balsfjord swear by goat's milk.
- Dried reindeer meat is normally served with coffee in Inner Finnmark. It is available to purchase in bags and is both healthy and very tasty.
Dark coffee drops
Coffee is an ever-present feature in Northern Norway and is linked to “kos” too. As many of us have slightly unusual tastes here, we have our own coffee roasters. We asked people what they would recommend for “coffee kos”.
- Bønner i byen from Bodø offers a Christmas coffee where the beans have a hint of dark chocolate, almonds and orange in them. What could be more Christmassy than that?
- Tromsø Kaffebrenneri also has its own Christmas coffee.
- Handelsstedet Forvik in Helgeland recommends Gamle Arnzten, which is both deep and rich.
Modern microbreweries believe that ale in the winter should be dark and have a rich taste. A quick survey gave us the following recommendations:
- Bådin from Bodø recommends Mørkved, a pleasant oat stout which is perfect with local chocolates from Craig Alibone.
- Graff in Tromsø recommends Reformator Doppelbock, which has a long after-taste of dried fruit, perfect for this time of year.
- Svalbard Bryggeri now sells its produce across the whole country, but you have to visit Svalbard in order to enjoy the brewery's special blue period ale.
Now all you have to do is turn down the lights and enjoy the “kos” atmosphere.