…and why not do it really simple? A few chunks of raw salmon and lompe, nothing else, really did it.

Tastewise those two things really belong together. Both have what might – in English – be called ”bland” tastes. There is no salt, neither in the carbs nor the fish. The expression is a little derogatory, though, considering the whole world of sushi, with variations in delicious blandness, in that case.

And the world of Scandinavian country cooking too. There is variation, but I think it lies maybe in the performance more than the recipes. Even if, I believe, historically, there is a wealth of food that has never really surfaced, not today. Yet to be seen. Maybe I should dive into that subject too.

Technically, I believe that the variation in the cooking, which you have to learn I think from the housewives and mothers who cooked for us, lies in the small actions, small “tricks” as some call it, what in Norwegian and probably Swedish and Danish is summed up as håndlag. Meaning manual skill, definitely, but I wonder if it rules more or less the whole thing. All the small things you learn to a large degree without knowing it, unconsciously, maybe, or through small acts of practical teaching from relatives or friends.

I’ve eaten so simple things whith such taste. A piece of kid meat, baked in the oven, on a farm in “the valleys”, as we say. Salt, fat of some kind. I don’t know what was done to it, but it is one of my rare food experiences.

This is typical for many feats of this popular culture. It is a largely practical world, a lot, really a lot, is done and never said. You speak through your actions more than your words.

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But splashing these simple things together and creating something could also lead me to think that Japan and Norway has something in common culturally – who knows?

Traditional Norwegian – and Scandinavian – country food uses very little herbs and spices and is by many considered simple and with very slight variation. Still, a traditional foodie has no problem of singling out the good cooks from the bad and appreciate the really good meals.

I know myself very well what a good dinner of fresh cod should be like, you can’t fool me there, even if it consists of nothing more than boiled cod, boiled potatoes, boiled carrots and melted butter, with the miniscule variations of adding boiled eggs to the butter or serving fried bacon as a side dish.

It is a little like French country bread too, I believe it is considered hard to make really good. It has no more ingredients. Fewer, rather.

I am as usual not too knowledgeable about the world of sushi, or Japan, but as I have understood it you can make a world of difference with the same piece of raw fish, through the way you treat it. I guess, simply, how you use your knife, even if that is probably a coarse way of putting it.

Even if making sushi is probably a highly planned skill, and the Norwegian kitchen is very much based on improvisation within a narrow frame, I find it interesting. It seems parallel in some way.

And the taste of raw fish, I believe absolutely unknown here until the sushi wave hit us, resembles the simple world of lompe, boiled carrots (which, by the way, is no favourite of mine), boiled potatoes, maybe, all the straight-forward tastes that are so familiar to us. Too familiar, which is, of course, why we eat all the “new” and really new stuff.

Good for us, also.

Anyway, this lompe-laks business is not traditional food, but traditional ingredients put together in a new

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Maybe there is something there for a food researcher, an anthropologist, a student of sociology. A would-be
journalist like myself.

Or a professional amateur cook, looking for new fields of experiment.

PS Please don’t quote me on saying that complicated cooking is unnecessary or bad. I have the greatest respect for professional crafts which give us pleasure, and every complication is welcome, as long as it works.

Edited after publishing.