A Whale of a Meal

On our last day of our camping trip we crouched huddled under the tent’s rain fly waiting for a break in the pouring rain. We were hoping to pack up and leave in a less severe downpour. After walking for an hour and half in the rain along a trail that was under 6 inches of running water and listening to the sound of the sky ripping open we arrived to the agreed upon pick-up site to find not Erik, as we had expected, but instead Gunnar, waiting in his car for us. He seemed very relieved to see us and although we arrived precisely at 6pm as planned (or 18:00 hours as most people clearly know) he was starting to get worried about us and was about to alert the authorities. His drive through the heavy rain to collect us was harrowing enough to cause him to consider some worst-case scenarios of unskilled Americans lost and confused in the Norwegian wilderness.

Gunnar took us to his fifth-floor apartment in the little town of Moss and we enjoyed the comfort of his home, the hot showers and the views overlooking a giant island across a waterway. We tracked the storms rolling in and watched the rain arrive in sheets. He wanted to treat us to a traditional Norwegian meal that we had never before experienced. We had already tasted boiled and fried mackerel, pike, sour cream porridge, lake bass, brown goat cheese, prawns, reindeer, moose meatballs, deer sausages and liverwurst galore, but now it was time for something really special…

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WHALE! We would get to help prepare the Norwegian specialty of a big, tender minke whale steak. After spending the next day out and about in Moss and saying our goodbyes to Erik, Ewelina, Veronika, Eliza and Ingrid we returned to the apartment for the meal we had been waiting all day for. Fried in browned butter after the onions, we seared the steaks before adding cream and simmering. A side of boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli completed the dish. The flavor was simple, bold, meaty, slightly musky, with a definite oceanic saltiness. An experience unavailable in many other parts of the world, we felt lucky to enjoy such a treat.

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4 thoughts on “A Whale of a Meal

    • It’s true, I did have whale with you, mom and Katy in Bergen on my first Norwegian visit. It was bloodier that time and a more manageable portion. This time we really had a huge portion with enough leftover for the next morning’s breakfast.

  1. I’m really glad I got to know you guys, you both are so nice and in good mood all the time, and that really inspires me. I wish you didn’t have to leave me though, it’s empty and weird at home without you. I really really REALLY hope and pray to God that you’ll come back in a few months! I wish you all the best and good luck on your exciting trip, and hopefully we’ll see eachother soon!
    Hugs from the coca cola addict πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Hey Veronika,

      Your note is very sweet. It has felt a bit strange for us to be away from you and your crew, too! It was easy for us to feel good around you and your family. Oh, how we would love it if we were ALWAYS in a good mood! If only you could see us fumbling around in Istanbul… Thankfully there is lots of coffee to help us through πŸ™‚

      We both have had the experience of having guests leave our house and being bummed about the quietness that seems to rise in their absence.

      We look forward to seeing you next time and hope it will be sooner than later! Lots of hugs and Coca Cola to you,

      Austin & David

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