TasteAtlas Awards 2022 ranked 95 countries from best to worst cuisine. Surprise surprise, Norway makes last spot, therefore becoming the worst cuisine in the world according to TasteAtlas. Is it really that bad?
Who did Norway lose against?
Let’s look at something else first. Which cuisines did Norway lose against? Where is for example ranked Danish cuisine in this survey, which is I think really bad. I used to live there and I can tell you the New nordic Cuisine from the glossy magazines is no where to be seen in Danish peoples’ fridges and kitchens. Danish food is quite similar to what we eat in Norway: cheap sausages, open sandwiches, pickled herring and so on. Sure, they have better bread than Norway and more choice in supermarkets, but still, do they really deserve to be ranked 35th best cuisine in the world out of 95? SERIOUSLY?
Norwegian cuisine is also ranked worse than Australian cuisine, which has as their best food “Tim Tams”, a processed biscuit coated in chocolate.
Worst than that, who is next worse cuisine in the world just before Norwegian cuisine? Moroccan food, which is, I believe, offering absolutely amazing food and flavours. I am just completely in shock, and I am therefore wondering how seriously we should take this survey to begin with.
Norwegian food is bad but not the worse
I have written many articles about Norwegian cuisine and Norwegian food culture. My most read is where I write about Norwegian food culture for kids, in my blogpost and article in Norwegian newspaper VG Bread, candy and shrimp cheese in a tube. Why do kids in Norway get such bad food?
I have travelled to many places in Norway and ate a lot of different local food, and I can say with quite some assurance that Norway has amazing produce. The best potatoes I’ve tasted in my life, on Skåtøy, an island in Telemark. Best fish I’ve eaten, Skrei in the Lofoten islands. Great cheese and dairy, from Røros among others, amazing leg sausage from Valdres. I eat Norwegian carrots as if it was candy, it is so sweet and delicious. Norwegian cabbage is very good and very tasty, you can make anything from salads to fårikål with it (lamb and cabbage cooked in pepper for a long time). Basically I like food and I think Norway has good food.
The problem is that Norwegians don’t eat Norwegian food. They eat a lot of processed food which takes no time to cook. There is almost like an inferiority complex among Norwegians regarding their food, which they can feel isn’t as good as other cuisines like Italian or even Japanese. I personally think there could be a revival of Norwegian original cuisine, with all the “husmanskost” as they call it here, where local ingredients and recipes can be used in normal kitchens. Not everyone has to like lutefisk (cod in lye) or rakfisk (highly fermented trout), but still, dishes like fårikål are quite mild.
Truth be told Norwegians themselves don’t eat lutefisk or rakfisk everyday. They’ll eat it once a year at best.
So to conclude, I do not agree with this ranking. Norwegian food is not the best in the world, but there are amazing produce and my goodness it has to be better than Australian cuisine. No offence 🙂
However TasteAtlas might have done something right when ranking the worst Norwegian food to be found. I agree with the whole list besides fårikål being there 🙂