Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pølse Pørn

Norwegians love their hot dogs, known here as the pølse (POLE-sah). Here it's the lamb version, adorned with curry sauce (really a curry-flavored mayonnaise) and fried onions (the type you'd put on top of your Thanksgiving stringbean and cream of mushroom soup casserole). It was quite delicious.

I purchased this particular pølse at this red stand on Kong Oscars gate near Brygge in Bergen, which I first found 15 years ago on our initial visit to this city. The lamb hot dog was only the beginning of its selections. There's the cheese sausage with bacon, Jadgwurst wild game sausage, San Francisco sausage (apparently Bergensers think putting garlic and chili on a hot dog makes it San Franciscan), Smoked Bratwurst, Hot Chili sausage, the classic Frankfurter, Reindeer (flavored with juniper berries), Kabanossi (cayenne pepper and garlic, like the San Francisco, but a less emulsified grind), and Krakauer (nutmeg and garlic).

While they seem expensive at 45 kroner (about $7), they still represent good value. Each pølse weighs in at 150 grams -- more than five ounces, about the same as my favorite domestic dog, the five-to-a-pounder from Best Provisions of Newark.

Pølse are ubiquitous in Norway, though I didn't see any other stall devoted to the sausage during our month-long trip. Every "kiosk", however, offers them.

The kiosk is essentially a convenience store, with the big brands throughout Norway being Narvesen and 7-11. (Yes, 7-11: same logo design as back home.) Kiosks are essentially walk-in newstands, selling everything you'd expect as well as soft drinks and limited sandwich and fast foods. When I was in a pølse mood and not in central Bergen I went for Narvesen's bacon-wrapped dog.

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