Common Spices used in Norwegian Cooking

Allspice (Pimenta dioica) sometimes called Jamaican pepper is the dried fruit of the allspice tree. This spice is sometimes used in place of black pepper. It is used to season many meat and fish dishes; including lutefish, herring and sausages.

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is a very popular spice in Norwegian cooking. Frequently, cardamom is used in sweet baked goods, with chocolate, fruit dishes and in coffee.

Caraway (Carum carvi) is very popular in Arab countries as well as in Scandinavia. Caraway is popular to use in cabbage dishes, cheeses and in non-sweet baked dishes like dark breads.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) is a dried bark of the cassia tree. It is a very common spice used in Norwegian cooking. It is used in baked goods, sweets, preserves and also in mulled wine recipes.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is dried seed of the coriander plant. It has a slightly lemony taste and scent. Coriander is used in meat marinades and also in various spirituous drinks. It is also a vital seasoning in sausages.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) sometimes called sweet fennel. This spice is used in breads, cookies, and in pickles. Having a liquorish taste it is used in both sweet and savory foods. Sometimes, Anise (Pimpinella anisum) which has a similar flavor is used in place of Fennel.

Juniper berry (Juniperus communis) is the edible berry of the juniper tree. Juniper is used in wild game dishes and other meats as well as flavoring for some spirituous drinks as well. The actual berries are usually removed after cooking and are not consumed with the dish.

Peppercorns (Piper nigrum) come in green, black and white varieties are all berries of the same plant. Green peppercorns are the unripe berries. Black peppercorns are the half-ripened berries and white peppercorns are the completely or fully ripe berries. They are dried or stored in brine or vinegar. Green peppercorns have a light, fruity flavor and are used in sweets and desserts.

Pink pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) is sometimes called red pepper. It is used on meat and wild game dishes. With a very strong, hot flavor it should be used sparingly as so not to overpower the other flavors in the dish. Some people might be allergic to this spice.

Four spices is a spice mix that has white pepper, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. It is used in meat dishes, particularly beef and in strong savory sauces.


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