A Treat for Your Taste Buds
4am in Sigerfjord, Vesteralen: The deep, salty, cold Arctic Ocean, close to river estuaries with fresh water are the perfect conditions for Arctic char, and local fishermen are about to go in search of their catch of the day. 5pm on board a Hurtigruten ship: Our guests enjoy the finest Norwegian cuisine. The Arctic char that was caught this morning is on today's menu.
Enjoy the taste of nature
Norway's culinary traditions have much in common with the scenery of the coastline. It is always fresh, distinctive and full of variety. We have always strived to give our guests a truly unique and authentic experience, and local produce and old food traditions are incorporated into every element of the culinary experience on board. Visiting 34 ports, Hurtigruten has an exceptional opportunity to get fresh produce from local suppliers every day. This means delicious new and fresh ingredients, both from the coastal and inland areas.
"As a chef, I am in great awe when working with local suppliers, because they are so passionate about their produce. Meeting them, hearing their history and knowing that these are hand made products of exceptionally good quality makes me proud and humble. Holding an ingredient that does not look like it was made in a factory and is a little bit imperfect but smells heavenly makes our job a pleasure. Also our meals have to visually match the divine beauty of the landscapes we pass. It has to look, and taste, delicious, but at the same time have a "Vikingy" feel - a bit rough and ready. We like to enhance the different tastes, making every meal a great experience. Surprise is another favorite element of ours, mixing old traditional recipes and tastes with something new. That is always appreciated by our guests." - chief culinary chef, Eirik Larsen on Hurtigruten.
Real food experiences
To enhance this unique concept, you will have food experiences not only through the restaurants, but through storytelling. As part of our "Autumn Gold" concept, we serve cloudberries out on deck. These berries have been hand-picked by an old lady in Finnmark, and she personally delivers them to our ships. Experiences with Hurtigruten don't get more real than this.
A menu that changes with the seasons and areas in which we sail
Based on the season's best ingredients, our chefs create either three-course dinners or lavish buffets. Being a coastal voyage, seafood often dominates the menu, accompanied with fresh vegetables and delicately flavored sauces. Each dinner ends with traditional desserts, like homemade cakes, puddings, berries or sorbet. Breakfast and lunch is served buffet style. Our restaurants are fully licensed and your reserved table becomes an occasion to exchange your daily experiences, while savoring food crafted by the coast. To accompany each meal, you can choose from our comprehensive selection of red and white wines, beer, aquavit and soft drinks. Afterward you can enjoy fresh coffee in any of the lounges, drinks in one of the bars and watch the beautiful landscape pass by.
Chef Andreas Viestad helps to give Hurtigruten Guests a true "Taste" of Norway
In a unique and creative partnership with celebrity chef Andreas Viestad, Hurtigruten serves the bounty of Norway's fresh, local ingredients, along with the stories of the people and places that supply these special foods - just as Viestad does in his food writing and on his television shows.
For example, guests will be able to enjoy fresh Arctic char that was delivered to the ship just a few hours before dinner service, and they'll hear stories of the suppliers who provided the fish and the waters from which it came.
Viestad is the host of the television series New Scandinavian Cooking, which is broadcast in more than 100 countries - including on PBS affiliates throughout the United States. His television programs and cookbooks help focus international interest on modern Nordic cuisine, which has attracted considerable attention in recent years.
Hurtigruten's onboard dining is called "Norway's Coastal Kitchen," and reflects the true character of the country, giving guests a much more memorable and distinctive Norway travel experience. Through a unique partnership with the Norwegian government, hundreds of local food suppliers support Hurtigruten's efforts making it possible for small, local producers to supply vessels with the necessary quantities of these regional specialties.
After a stop in the Norwegian city of Trondheim, for example, passengers can enjoy an evening dessert of sea-buckthorn (a type of berry) and aquavit (a spiced spirit) ice cream produced by Gangstad Gardsysteri dairy. On another day, the restaurant will offer kvaefjordcake, a dessert made of meringue, vanilla cream and almonds; it's said to have first been created by a small cafe in Harstad. Other menu items include cured leg of lamb from Hellesylt, a town near the picturesque Geirangerfjord, and roast reindeer from Finnmark, Norway's northeastern county that borders both Finland and Russia.
Asians are still learning about Nordic cuisine, and are discovering that it goes far beyond the stereotypical dried cod - though fish and seafood do play prominent roles on Norwegian menus. In addition to cod and char, Norway is also the world's largest producer of both salmon and trout, with reindeer providing a distinctive land based source of protein. Norway's cool climate, slow growing pace and quantity of sunlight (north of the Arctic Circle, the sun shines around the clock for two months in the summer) enhance the taste of vegetables and berries. Carrots have an extra sweetness to them, for example, and the renowned Scandinavian cloudberries produce an exquisite taste for syrups, specialty vinegars and wines.