elb's hovel of thoughts

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Norwegian Salmon and Sea Treasures

Sometime back, I blogged about my little trip to Scandinavia. They can be found scattered throughout the July - October archives, if you don't mind a little digging around my blog's archives (11 links).

One of the entries concerned the Torget fish market at Bergen, Norway. Amongst the items purchased there was whale meat which I made a brief commentary about over here. Now I move on to other gastronomical delights of the sea which I purchased there:

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A packet of smoked Norwegian salmon*, a packet of gravet (Norwegian) laks (also called gravlax, grav lachs, etc depending on language, meaning 'raw, thinly sliced, cured salmon seasoned with dill and served usually as an appetizer'. Although J had some as her main meal at Gotheburg City.) and three glass jars of various types of caviar.

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A closer look at the gravet laks. I had to buy the jar of mustard and dill sauce separately, which I did at Oslo airport (by the way, they have FANTASTIC chocolates at the Gardemoen Oslo International Airport :) ). How was it? Delicious of course!

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The chunk of prime smoked salmon.

Forget the cheap supermarket variety, which tastes identical to raw salmon, forget the Harrods house brand of smoked salmon, which I thought was good until I came across this. There were cheaper ones of course (notice the national award label on this particular brand?), but I figured that I should get the best because I would probably never return to Norway again. NK 240 for 680 grams. Equivalent to around 20 pounds, or RM140.

How was it? The flesh wasn't all jelly like I anticipated, it was still rather firm, but it definitely had the salty and smoky taste about it and I was disappointed when it was all finished, it was THAT good :(

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Taken from an earlier entry, where Jack Sparrow himself packs my salmon for me ;)

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The three different types of caviar that came in a pack. I bought two packs. White is 'Arctic caviar', aka capelin roe. Those of you familiar with Japanese food may recall this fish as the 'pregnant fish' that they skewer, cook and eat whole. Black 'Norwegian caviar' is seahen roe, not dissimilar to the popular caviar substitute known as lumpfish roe.

Orange is 'salmon caviar', which is just what it is. Except that I found great difficulty biting into this as it was rather slippery, this had to be accomplished by crushing the grains between my molars. It also tastes different from ikura (Japanese salmon roe) and the Scottish ones.

Also sorry folks, I tried looking for pictures of the salmon post package removal, and I also misplaced pictures that I took of some proper Russian Sevruga caviar that I wanted to blog about (the kind that costs three digits for miniscule quantities, not like the cheapo caviar that appeared in the pictures of the post) , hence there will be no post about it. Unless the pictures mysteriously reappear somewhere.

* = Beware food labelling. If you want proper Norwegian salmon, look out for 'smoked Norwegian salmon' and not 'Norwegian smoked salmon'. There is a world of difference between both meanings. This applies also to various types of other food and is not limited to Norwegian salmon.

p.s. Jon: I need you to teach me about that BlogMap thingajigy!


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