Norway loves its taco. This might come as somewhat of a surprise to those who associate the country’s cuisine solely with lutefisk and lefse, but here we are, and so is life. The taco – or an appropriated offshoot of it – has become a part of Norwegian culture: Fredagstacoen (
The Friday Taco), is Norway’s third most popular dish after pasta and pizza.
Fredagstacoen is, as one would assume, enjoyed on Fridays. Sure, you could make it on Thursdays or Saturdays, but that really is rather philistine. Friday Tacos are for Fridays, that’s just how it is.
But, is this dish something you can even prepare outside of Norway? Yes. Kind of.
See, Fredagstacoen is more of a facsimile of the Americanized grocery-store taco – hard shells, ground beef, all of that – than the traditional Mexican variety. And while both share similarities, there are some curveballs to be aware of. Follow this recipe, and you can get well within the proximity of a Friday evening of Norwegian proportions:
The predictable part
- Taco shells – From Old El Paso. Nothing else will do, except for lompe, which is a regional favorite. Old School Norwegian taco connoisseurs will go with the lompe.
- Salsa – Again, Old El Paso, preferably the mild
Thick ’N Chunky. (Medium if you want to go crazy, but that’s just not done in polite company.)
- Shredded iceberg lettuce – For that extra crunch.
- Ground beef – The high-fat stuff, with a pinch of Old El Paso taco seasoning mixed in. Emphasis on pinch. You don’t want any unnecessary flavors.
Things take a turn
- Shredded cheese – But only Jarlsberg will do. Only. Jarlsberg. Try anything else, and you might as well go to the Bell.
- Canned corn
- Diced red pepper – I’m reasonably certain jalapeños weren’t a
thingwhen the taco hit Norway.
- Diced cucumber – Yep.
Where it gets tricky
- Sour cream – I’m not talking just any sour cream. Norway knows its dairy, and it’s hard to beat the potency of Seterrømme as far as sour cream goes. It’s thick and hearty, traditionally used to make rømmegrøt. The closest equivalent I can think of is Tillamook, but you might have to hunt down a boutique variety for the real experience.
Shell; meat; cheese; lettuce; corn; cucumber; red pepper; sour cream; salsa. A pretty predictable assembly.
Pair with a Solo. You can find this Norwegian Friday staple at Scandinavian Specialties. It’s an orange soda, and uniquely so, though I suppose a Fanta will do in a pinch.
Fun Norway-taco fact!
The first grocery store to sell taco ingredients in Norway was in Stavanger during the oil rush of the late sixties. Apparently, your regular Norwegian fishballs and fårikål would not do for the American oil tycoons. Read the full story at NRK, provided you know Norwegian.