FOOD FROM LAND AND SEA
“EITHER I HAVE SHOT OR CAUGHT THE MAIN INGREDIENT, OR I KNOW WHO DID.”
In recent years, knowing where your ingredients come from has become a token of quality for any self-respecting establishment serving food. As usual, Varanger Lodge takes things that extra step further.
– Everything we serve is caught within a 30-kilometre radius of the lodge. The surrounding terrain is ideal for hunting and fishing with plenty of wilderness, lakes, rivers and sea right outside the door, says Varanger Lodge skipper Edgar Olsen.
But simply knowing the origins of your food is not enough. Up here by the Arctic Ocean, you’ll get the story behind what you find on your plate.
– Either I have shot or caught the main ingredient, or I know who did. We label all our catch with date, place and name before we store it. This way we ensure that you always get authentic information on what you eat, Edgar asserts.
FRESH, LOCAL, SUSTAINABLE
Professional fisherman Edgar catches all the fish and crab served at Varanger Lodge. He hunts for elk in the Varanger area, and reindeer meat comes from local herders.
Berries are commonly used in northern cuisine. Edgar and family pick blueberries, lingonberries and cloudberries from the mountains and bogs around Varanger fjord. This far above the Arctic Circle, nature’s seasons dictate the amount of homegrown vegetables that find their way to the table.
– In summer 2021, we served our own salad from early July until September. Next year we’ll grow potatoes to last the whole winter. We’re taking things step by step towards being as self-sufficient as possible up here, Edgar explains.
– Besides it being the best way to guarantee our customers fresh produce during their stay at Varanger Lodge, it ties in with our sustainable philosophy that we base our whole existence on, he specifies.
SEASONAL MENU SAMPLES
When you’re staying at Varanger Lodge effects what fresh and delicious meals you’ll be eating. Below you’ll find examples of seasonal bounty of the sea and wilderness.
Spring is fresh cod season. Feast on cod straight out of Varanger fjord – right where you are – with bacon and mashed peas.
Summer comes with salmon. Enjoy our classic salmon soup with wild salmon caught in the waters of Varanger and top it off with sweet rhubarb pie made of Nesseby-harvested rhubarb. Try also pan-fried fresh salmon with “rømme” and herbs: rømme is Norwegian sour cream, and herbs like chives, for example, are foraged from the Varanger mountains and grown in the kitchen garden.
When in Northern Norway, trying “Boknafesk” is a must. The semi-dried cod is served with bacon and carrot stew, and the meal is rounded off with blueberry crumble and whipped cream. Need we say the berries are picked from the local Nesseby mountains?
Winter sees more meat on the menu. The elk at Varanger Lodge is likely shot by host Edgar, and served in red wine sauce. Another northern classic, reindeer stew, is only seasoned with salt, pepper and butter to bring out the natural taste of reindeer. A Norwegian version of bacalao is salty dried cod and tomato in a stew to warm you up after those chilly winter days.
Winter desserts are sweet grass panna cotta with local cloudberries and herbs or, alternatively, cloudberries with vanilla “kesam” – a local sour milk product from the nearby village of Tana.
Lunch dishes with meat include smoked elk wraps with lingonberry sour cream, elk burgers with pickled red onions and elk or reindeer soup with freshly baked bread. Fish is served as “fiskegrateng”, a Norwegian classic bake with macaroni, cod, carrot and brown butter, as well as “fiskekaker”, typical Norwegian fish cakes made of haddock.
Nyt måltidet dit!
ENJOY AUTHENTIC LOCAL FOOD AT VARANGER LODGE
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