i noticed something on this trip back across the pond that i saw briefly last year. the TV dinner, fast food, quick fix has made it to Scandinavia and not in a good way. 10 years ago or more McD’s burger would have cost you 200NOK($30) today the price has been slashed to 100NOK($15) and burger king and McD’s are fighting it out all over Norway.
7-eleven purchased the local quick shop in Norway called Narvesen and because of this has introduced a slew of new Americanized products. don’t get me wrong-i love Norwegian hot dogs but burger dogs where disgusting. the best way i can describe it is processed meat rolled out into a hot dog. Narvesen because of it’s influence of America now have cheap food combo’s and truck stop latte’s i was too scared to try.
obesity was everywhere-for the first time i saw Big women stores where i least expected them and a dreary afternoon @ the now Mall/train station called Oslo S (Oslo Central Station) i sat next a to Norwegian that was just as disgusted as i was because of what is happening to his country. in the North where my family lives there was obesity in a small town of 6,000 i counted on both hands not a good sign.
everywhere i looked there was bad food combo’s-sloppy joe’s, taco’s, burgers and all the preservatives that go along with it. @ one of the hotels we stayed @ they had *really* bad all you can eat Scandinavian style breakfast but with a twist. they had all grain breads-but that wasn’t what other Norwegians where going for. instead it was the white rolls, ham and people where eating more than one plate. now, i am talking dinner plate size and larger than life portions.
in the North we ate lunch one afternoon in one of the malls-and the traditional Norwegian sandwich of shrimp, mayo and bread cost a small fortune, but if you wanted more American style sandwiches they where in fact cheaper. one of the things i saw plenty of was meal combo’s-coffee and white bun with processed flour Only cost 15NOK($2 )a mere bargain for empty calories and carbs.
there was a time around winter olympics in 1994 that Norway took pride in it’s food-fish and meats. next to where one of my cousins live there’s a coca cola franchise coffee house that has pride it’s very American burger for a bargain price of 124NOK. the whole order comes with the essential fries of course.
before we departed on our honeymoon we spent time in a town not far from where my family lives. when i asked the reception if there was any Norwegian style restaurants her answer surprised me as she referred to American fast food as ethnic. a burger and fries is not *ethnic* is quick way to obesity and diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and lung problems. we found a fab restaurant that looked like it had amazing food-but it reminded me of the PNW-not Norway.
the last night on the boat we decided to splurge and eat @ the captains dinner. as an appetizer we got smoked salmon wrapped in a tortilla with mayo. *gross* would be an understatement. the main course was uber boring and not very good-potatoes au grautain, a weird sauce with peppers and onions that was really nasty. for dessert we got ice cream cake that i couldn’t eat part of because it was so nasty. the final bill with one beer ran $150 and i can tell you it was not worth even getting dressed up for.
there was one thing i found that gave me hope-Kraft recently purchased Freia a chocolate company i grew up with an like all it’s purchases cheapened the ingredients faster than you could say America. however, there is one company Kraft does not own that is Nidar-who ran ads on TV showcasing the fact that there chocolate is made with simple ingredients and Pure Norwegian milk. it does taste better-do you know why-because it’s the old Norwegian pride in food i thought was lost.