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Fredagstacoen: The Friday Taco

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Norway loves its taco. This might come as somewhat of a surprise to those who associate the country solely with lutefisk and lefse, but here we are, and so is life. The taco has become a part of Norwegian culture, or as it is, an appropriated offshoot of it has: Fredagstacoen, or The Friday Taco, is the country’s third most popular dish after pasta and pizza.

Illustrative image

Fredagstacoen is, as one would assume, enjoyed on Fridays. Sure, you could make it on Thursdays or Saturdays like a philistine, but you’re better than that. Friday Tacos should be made on Fridays, that’s just how it is.

But, is this something you can prepare at home here in America? Yes. Kind of.

See, Fredagstacoen is more of a facsimile of the Americanized grocery-store taco than the traditional Mexican variety. You know, hard shells, ground beef, and all that. And while both share similarities, there are some curveballs to be aware of. Follow this recipe, and you can get close to a Friday evening of Norwegian proportions:

The predictable part

  • Taco shells — From Old El Paso; nothing else will do, except for a lompe, which is a personal, regional favorite.
  • Salsa — Again, Old El Paso, preferably the mild Thick ’N Chunky. (Medium if you want to go crazy.)
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Ground beef — The high-fat stuff, with a pinch of Old El Paso taco seasoning mixed in. Don’t settle for cheap meat — Europe is all about the quality.

It gets strange

  • Shredded cheese — But only Jarlsberg will do. Only. Jarlsberg. Try anything else, and you might as well go to the Bell.
  • Canned corn
  • Diced red pepper — I’m reasonably certain jalapeños weren’t a thing when the taco initially hit Norway.
  • Diced cucumber — I kid you not, but it truly adds a dash of freshness to the palate.

Where it gets tricky

  • Sour cream — I’m not talking just any sour cream. Norway knows its dairy, and as far as sour cream goes, it’s hard to beat the potency of Seterrømme. It’s thick and hearty, traditionally used to make rømmegrøt. The closest equivalent I can think of is Tillamook, but you might have to hunt down a boutique variety for the real experience.

The Tortillaing™

Shell; meat; cheese; lettuce; corn; cucumber; red pepper; sour cream; salsa. A pretty predictable assembly.

Pair with a Solo

You can find Solo in many Scandinavian import stores. It’s an orange soda, and uniquely so, though I suppose a Fanta will do in a pinch.

Fun Norway-taco fact!

The first grocery store to sell taco ingredients in Norway was in Stavanger during the oil rush of the late sixties. Apparently, your regular Norwegian fishballs and fårikål would not do for the American oil tycoons. Read the full story at NRK, provided you know Norwegian.