Plan a Memorable Food Trip to Utah Utah is known for many things and the…
Eating My Way Around the Wild Coast of Norway
Origionally published in Vrai Magazine
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The island of Sandhornøya sits near the mouth of the Saltstarumen Sound in the far north of Norway. The shape of a squished heart stabbing into the Norwegian Sea, Sandhornøya is a wild and craggy rock guarding the entrance to some of the dramatic fjords that cut deep into the Arctic Coast. Back in the boulders and there in the few copses of trees that could get a hold on life that close to the Arctic once lived the huldrafolk or hidden people.
“I think they are still back in there,” said Sami. We stood on the sandy beach and considered the sea, which was to be the main source of our food over the coming days. “This was always the northern limits of Christianity and the old ways never quite died out. The little people? It is possible they were never completely exterminated.”
Although a Finn, my friend and companion Sami had fished the Norwegian coast for a decade or more, learning from the coastal fishermen he met how to catch, prepare and preserve food from the sea in ways that date back to before the time of the Vikings. I had asked him for a demonstration and so we drove south from the town of Bodø through gray drizzling fjords dripping with rain and low passes where the snowmelt was beginning to fill rivers hidden among thick stands of pine.
It rained more in one hour than I typically see all year at home.
The beach was backed by a towering cliff. Two low outcroppings of sea-smoothed red and black marbled rock surrounded the campsite but didn’t really offer any shelter. A chill wind blew off the water and you could smell the salt in the air. Off to the south was a massive chunk of snowy rock rising hundreds of feet into the sky and sheltering a fjord at its base. To the north was the open sea, which I scanned for whales…..