SMAK // Tromso Food Festival

I wanted to blog about Greenland today but something this weekend got in the way - Tromso's Food Festival! Now I had intended to have a quick look around the festival on Saturday as I was in town to take pictures for my Reykjavik vs. Tromso post anyway but when I had to delete pictures from my SD card in order to be able to take more, I knew that this festival was worth a post on its own.

SMAK - from the Norwegian word for "taste" - as this festival is called, is all about Northern Norwegian food and this festival was held for the third time in Tromso this year. I have no idea why I didn't go there last year but I'm so glad that I made it last weekend. At SMAK, restaurants, bars and farms from Tromso and even Lofoten presented and sold their products and most stands had a few niblets for you to taste. And oh boy, that's what I did!

As I said, I had no intention to stay at the festival for long so the boyfriend and I had a pretty big breakfast before heading to town. Big mistake. I got already hooked at the third booth when we were offered ice-cream made out of nitrogen which surprisingly tasted like regular ice-cream and made me want to have more. So we got a dessert plate for 50 NOK with nitrogen ice-cream, bacon-banana cookies (which again to my surprise, tasted good) and cloudberry as well as beetroot cake. Not sure whether it was a good idea to start with desserts but anyway...

We stayed at the festival for almost 3 hours and in between trying reindeer meat, sausages and fish burgers, we also ate a proper lunch (I had a lamb sausage and mashed potato while the boyfriend had pulled duck). It was so much fun to just walk around and see what the different booths had to offer and oh my god, just walking around and smelling all the food was amazing! It was however pretty crowded and people were pretty impudent when it came to getting their hands on free food. Also, being bumped by baby buggies all the time wasn't that much fun either (who brings their baby to a food festival when there are thousands of people around and the poor thing can't even taste anything?).

Anyway, it was a lot of fun despite all the people although I'm pretty sure the boyfriend was ashamed of me at one point - we were looking at a booth that was selling lefse, apparently some Norwegian pastry, which he told me about earlier but which I had never heard of or tasted before. So when I was getting excited about seeing this pastry, he was just like "no, that's not what I meant. there are different kinds of lefse". Well, let's just say when I pretty loudly exclaimed "bullshit, lefse is lefse" without having any idea what this thing really is, he just looked at me in horror and hoped that no one heard my remark.

Apparently Norwegians are pretty peculiar when it comes to their lefse. Never make fun about it, haha!

SMAK Festival however was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about different Norwegian foods and there were a lot of courses for people to learn how to make better coffee or how to make the world's best potato salad. The boyfriend and I kind of wanted to do the coffee course but decided against it when we saw that it in reality only was a speech of someone explaining different kinds of coffee instead of getting to try different sorts of coffee for little money...

We were really hooked on the food for little money part in case you didn't notice yet... We even stood in the donut queue for 15 mins - apparently Norwegians also love donuts which aren't called donuts though but smultringer...

All in all, it was a pretty awesome festival and a nice way to spend a grey autumn day. Plus, we didn't have to worry about cooking dinner that day and if I'll still live in Tromso next year, I'll absolutely go to SMAK again!

UPDATE: SMAK 2016 takes place on September 23-24!

Is there a food festival in your city? And what's your favourite food in your adoptive home?

I have to admit, I realled loved these lamb sausages....