Sunday, January 17, 2016

Nordic Delicacies

One year ago today, we went over to Nordic Delicacies in Bay Ridge intending to have some lunch for the Norway portion of our WorldEats quest. Nordic Delicacies was pretty much the last Norwegian shop in an area that used to be known as Little Norway, and we had heard the sad news that they would be closing at the end of the month after serving the community for decades. This could have been our last chance to get Norwegian food in NY (as it's harder to classify the restaurants that just call themselves Scandinavian by country for WorldEats), so we wanted to make an effort to get out there.

When we got there, it seemed pretty crowded and the shelves weren't very full. It was clear that a lot of people had stopped by for some final Norwegian treats in the weeks before they closed. But we weren't intending to buy groceries. Instead, we were more interested in their prepared foods. We had heard all about their herring and seafood salads and fish pudding and other dishes, and thought they'd make a good lunch.

Unfortunately the prepared food cases seemed to be mostly empty. It looked like the big group of people hanging out there were regulars and/or part of some Norwegian heritage group who were having a get-together or party at the store before they closed. That, combined with the fact that we had arrived on the later side for lunch, meant that there wasn't much of anything left. We were disappointed but understood. It's not like they were going to make a ton of food every day when they were planning to close soon.

Since this was really the only Norwegian option we'd come across in our research (other than occasional festivals and events at the Norwegian church), we decided the next best thing we could do would be to pick up some groceries and make them for WorldEats. It wasn't exactly what we intended for WorldEats, but we were at a Norwegian shop picking up Norwegian groceries for an at-home Norwegian dinner. Close enough (for now).

The first thing we picked up was a packet of fish soup. This was pretty much an instant soup packet - just add the powdered mixture to a pot, stir in some water and milk (or cream), bring it to a boil, and simmer it for about 10 minutes. The entire packet was written in Norwegian and I didn't translate it until right before I started to make it, so it was a good thing we had something other than water on hand. (This was a couple of months ago, so I'm only about 90% sure we used some leftover half and half from the salmon and leek soup and not milk.) As for the other ingredients in the packet, there was flour, milk, cornstarch, salt fish, sugar, carrot, onion, leek, celery, eggs, chives, and a few other things. We really liked the soup. It was creamy but not too heavy, and the flavors of the fish and vegetables were good. We paired it with some fish sticks for a nice dinner.

To finish off our Norwegian night, we dove into the other item we picked up from our Nordic Delicacies visit - a milk chocolate bar with chopped hazelnuts. This was a really high quality chocolate bar in our opinion. The chocolate was rich and creamy, and chocolate mixed with hazelnuts is one of our favorite flavors. This was quite good. The only way we could think of that this chocolate could have been better was if it were dark chocolate, but then it wouldn't have been as creamy.

Our Nordic Delicacies visit may not have gone the way we planned exactly, and we never got to try the prepared dishes that we hoped we would for WorldEats, but we did end up with a nice Norwegian night with real imported Norwegian products. We enjoyed our little mini exploration and hopefully will find another Norwegian place in the future to do some more WorldEats exploration.

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