11 December 2010

Norwegian Gastronomique

It has been a week of weird and wonderful food. On Tuesday night I prepared Lutefisk for myself. After doing a bit of reading online I was under the impression that this was going to be a character building experience. Some sources had this to say:

  • a repulsive gelatinous fishlike dish that tasted of soap and gave off an odor that would gag a goat, and
  • reminiscent of the afterbirth of a dog or the world's largest chunk of phlegm
but, on the other hand, also
  • by all accounts the tastiest fish dish since pussy.
So, needless to say, I was also intrigued. After letting it soak overnight to get rid of most of the caustic soda, I baked it in the oven. At the same time, following instructions, fried up a hefty load of bacon. Then smothered the fish in bacon bits and bacon fat. Squirted it liberally with mustard. And sat down to eat... finding that it was actually pretty damn palatable and that the consistency was perfect. Or maybe I was just lucky.

Last night was the Christmas function in the Physics Department at UiB. Thomas had persuaded me that Smalehove was the thing to have. And I willingly gave in. Thomas is a trustworthy guy. If he says that it is good, it is bound to be good. Well, this time I was perhaps not quite so lucky. Look, it is not an experience that I regret. I am happy to be able to say that I have eaten a sheep's head. I am filled with a sense of satisfaction in knowing that I have popped an entire sheep's eye (about the size and consistency of a squash ball) in my mouth and chewed. But as the whole thing got cool (which it did quite rapidly), it started to get less and less appetising. And by the time that I peeled back the lips and observed that this sheep was definitely not too big on oral hygiene, I am afraid to say that I had lost my commitment. Anyway, I pressed on valiantly so that all that remained on my plate was a bare skull. And next to that a very empty glass of Aquavit.

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