Cognac – a Norwegian drink?

Many of you may think that the only drinks originating from Norway is vodka (or bad moonshine) and aquavit (more about the latter later), but very few know the strong connection between Norway and Cognac. Obviously our climate is too cold for growing grapes, but a large community of Norwegians settled in the southwest of France to develop their favorite drink. Today Norway is the top consuming nation in the world of Cognac per person (in relation to population) – not bad for a country of only 5 million people!

I found this very interesting post from the “Cognac Expert” blog – enjoy and skål!

http://blog.cognac-expert.com/otard-was-a-viking-the-very-special-relationship-of-norway-and-cognac

Welcome to a new experience!

If you are reading this; thanks for stopping by! This will be my brand new blog in which I will attempt to describe, explain and discuss Norwegian culture. More than anything, as a food and wine and spirit professional, I will focus on the foods and drinks typical of this country.  Being passionate about wine, the blog will definitely include some tips on what to pair with food from this cool climate; often mild flavors, but other times strong, salty and smoky notes dominate. As a Norwegian, having lived in NY for the past 20 years, my ties have gotten stronger and my homesickness grown bigger as I am becoming older. With my entire family overseas, it is my way of staying close to my roots, connecting with old and new friends, and remembering why I’m so proud to be from Norway.  Through my own company, Fork and Glass, a wine and food consulting firm, I will also aim to help people become more familiar with this fascinating place.

Many things surely have changed tremendously since I lived back home in the town of Sykkylven, a small, picturesque village tucked away in the fjords of western Norway.  I emigrated when I was 19, but have been back yearly ever since to visit family and friends, visiting restaurants, bars, farms and spirit makers, to keep myself current on what is going on. My goal will be to stay real, but romantic when diving into researching this very rich culture.  I hope to be able to evoke memories, both for myself and my readers who may be Norwegian or have visited, while discovering new gems that will create excitement and curiosity.

I look forward to starting this journey with you all, and I’ll start by teaching you a saying in Norway that I miss in the U.S.:

“Takk for mat!” 

Which literally translates to “Thanks for the food”, something everyone is taught to say after a meal; a sign of a well brought-up individual. It shows gratitude, appreciation and enthusiasm towards the host for his or her efforts to feed their guests.  Don’t ever think of not saying this after a meal in Norway!!

I leave you with a dreamy winter picture of my beautiful home town of Sykkylven – I sure will miss it during Christmas this year!