Thursday, December 15, 2011

Norwegian Butter Drama Unfolds

The drama continues to unfold over Norway's butter shortage. Early reports of trouble appeared in the Norwegian media last month. A fat-rich, low-carb diet craze sweeping the country, combined with a year of below-average butter production, resulted in a demand 30 percent higher than average in November.

With butter prices going through the roof in Norway and a Russian butter smuggler caught with 90 kilos (that's nearly 200 pounds!) at the Swedish border last week, the crisis has become international news and great material for satire. "Saturday Night Live" featured the story on its Weekend Update and even The Colbert Report has picked up on the news.

The whole situation leaves many people wondering what creative solutions Norwegians will come up with to bake their traditional sju slags (seven types) of Christmas cookies. I've seen Facebook updates from friends in Norway who were making do with—believe it or not—margarine. Maybe I should point them toward the Recipe Box on the Sons of Norway website. Among recipes for such butterific holiday favorites as sandkaker and berlinerkranser, there's a recipe for Tiny Almond Pies, which actually calls for margarine instead of butter!

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Photo by cyclonebill (Smør), via Wikimedia Commons.

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