Norwegian nosh

WE may not have the fjords or quite the same way with fish but local hoteliers hope to bring some of Norway to Selkirk next week, writes Sally Gillespie.

For the County Hotel’s Trond Arne Dalby and Will Hægeland, are serving Norwegian dinners for three days from Thursday to celebrate Norwegian Constitution Day

A representative from a Norwegian ship company which delivers mail and cargo and carries tourists up and down the country’s coastline will give a talk at the hotel next Saturday. And there will be a display about the country in the hotel’s restaurant.

The move follows prompting from customers and people who recently saw television chefs The Hairy Bikers baking Norwegian bread, explained Will.

“So many people have asked us about Norwegian food we thought we would do a Norwegian celebration and put on a Norwegian menu,” he said.

Norway’s national holiday is on Thursday.

“It’s a big celebration – schoolchildren and adults are in national costume, marching in the streets, waving Norwegian flags and shouting hurray”, said Will.

So far, 30 people have signed up to hear about the Hurtigruten cruise ships and their voyages in the first presentation at 3.30pm and spaces remain for the second at 5.30pm next Saturday.

The hotel’s dinner menu will draw from food the pair remember as children: “It will mostly be dishes we grew up with rather than restaurant-type food.”

One dish on offer will be fish balls – as common in Norway as fish and chips here – and which are served traditionally with a white fish sauce, carrots and boiled potatoes, but which will be jazzed up a little at the hotel. Also appearing on a menu will be a Norwegian chocolate pudding, more like a creme caramel than British chocolate puddings, said Will.

Finishing off, diners will be invited to taste Norway’s brown cheese, sweeter than British cheese, and a regular in children’s lunch boxes with Norwegian bread.

“We’re going to try to do some of the breads the Hairy Bikers had on their programme because people have asked us about it,” said Will.

Norwegian bread is more like German than British bread, darker with more rye. And the hotel tried to get lutefisk, a cured fish which dates back to the 15th century and is traditionally eaten around Christmas – but Britain bans its importation. However, the hotel will be making its own gravlaks to offer as a starter.

During the day there will be Norwegian bakery products to go with coffees and the hotel is bringing back previously popular Norwegian waffles for the three days.