My blogging buddy, Siri from Transplanted Baker hosted an exchange program a few months back. The purpose was to share your regional farmers market finds with someone from a different part of the country, or the world!
As any reader of my blog knows, I am a HUGE fan and customer of my local farmer’s market on Anastasia Island, here in Saint Augustine, Florida. But I also love reading about other bloggers’ farmers markets on blogs throughout the world! I think that farmers markets offer such a unique variety of products that you can’t even find in your local grocery store – made by local people, using local ingredients. You can learn a lot about a place from what is grown and produced there, and farmers markets are a great way to find out more about any area!
My exchange buddy was none other that Siri herself! This excited me greatly because I used to live in Norway and I always love getting goodies from Norway that remind me of my time there.
Sometime last week a lovely package with international stamps arrived at my doorstep (I now have a doorstep since moving from the condo!!). Inside was a cute purple box with green tissue paper – and inside were lots of lovely treats!
I got 2 different chocolate bars from Freia – the biggest chocolate company in Norway. Their slogan is “Et lite stykke Norge“, which translates to “A little bit of Norway”. The first variety, and most famous, in the cheery yellow wrapper, is Melkesjokolade, or milk chocolate, and the one in the blue wrapper is Firkløver, a milk chocolate bar with chopped hazelnuts! I can’t wait to eat these!
The next two things in the box that I recognized were two packages – Bergensk Fiskesuppe, Bergen Fish Soup and Raspeballer, or Potetball which are Norwegian potato balls. The soup I have never had before, because Bergen is on the west coast of Norway and I lived in the central part of Norway. However, anyone who knows anything about Norwegian food, knows about fish stews and soups. Generally creamy concoctions with a variety of seafood. YUM. Siri suggests that I cook it with some shrimp or mussels. Local Florida shrimp, here I come!
The Raspeballer are sometimes served with a piece of smoked meat in the inside. But they are often served just as balls of potatoes, sometimes fried, sometimes simmered in broth – all ways delicious! Norwegian comfort food at its best!
Then there were a few products that I did not know about. These were made by local producers close to Siri’s hometown of Førde. The first is Borgny’s Rose Gele, which is rose jam. I am very much looking forward to trying this, as I have never had a chance to try it in the past…anyone have good suggestions for what to eat it on?
Next was another product from the same herb farm that made the rose jam, and it is a mix of beautiful dried herbs – Applemint, Bee Balm and a few others I wasn’t able to translate – Siri, can you help me out with “Temyn” and Ryllik?
Anyway, the mixture smelled so good when I opened the bag that I actually just ate some straight from the bag! But I am pretty sure it is meant to be brewed into tea!
Siri also sent me a few post cards – one of the town of Førde where you can actually see her house! and also of a painting of birch trees (how did she know those were my favorite!) by a very well known painter from Sunnfjord named Nikolai Astrup (1880- 1928). The trees are from his small farm that overlooks a lake. He kept this farm as a way to create traditional and picturesque fodder for his paintings. The farm is now run by a historical society that uses it as a museum to display his work.
Anyway, I really want to thank Siri for all of these thoughtful gifts and would love to exchange again with you in the future! Thanks for putting this together!