Did you know hot dogs could quite well be the national food of Norway? For more facts & information on the history of this phenomenon read our guide…
While most Americans consider hot dogs as American as baseball, they are quite nearly the national food of Norway. Introduced in the 1950s, the all American hot dog quickly became synonymous with fast food in Norway. There are hot dog stands on nearly every corner in Oslo and they are also sold in gas stations and convenience stores.
While most Americans eat their hot dogs with mustard, relish, ketchup or chili, the Norwegians are far more creative with both toppings and recipes for hot dogs. Hot dogs with bread may be eaten with bacon, crispy fried onions, salsa and a combination of other toppings. Of course, there is also the alternative to the usual hot dog bun, the lompe which is a flat bread similar to a flour tortilla. Many Norwegians prefer lompe to buns since they allow more room for toppings.
That is just the way residents of Norway eat grilled hot dogs, but there are many other ways to prepare them. Some street vendors offer hot dogs skewered with vegetables, sort of like a shish kebab. Home cooking may include them as a fry up or the meat in a soup or stew. They may be boiled or grilled and served with potatoes and vegetables and at BBQs, they are often preferred to steak or chops.
While a must at 4th of July picnics, most Americans would not consider a hot dog for Christmas dinner, but in Norway they make a special hot dog, called Julpolse, just for Christmas. This hot dog is baked and eaten with potatoes and gravy. Of course they are also eaten on May 17th, Norway’s National Day.
The Food Safety Commission of Norway has set requirements for the ingredients that are permitted to be used in polse. With the exception of kosher and premium brands, American hot dogs are often made from meat scraps and animal organs that are not sold as meat cuts in supermarkets.
The official national dish of Norway is lamb and cabbage, but the country consumes about 45 million kilograms of hot dogs each year which is about 100 kilograms per person. That is considerably more than is consumed per person in the U.S. The truth is that most Americans prefer hamburgers as is witnessed by the number of fast food restaurants which don’t even offer hot dogs on their menus. Hot dogs may not have originated in Norway but the love of their citizens for this adopted food may make Norway the hot dog capital of the world.