Norway Ranked As The World’s Worst Cuisine By TasteAtlas

TasteAtlas has recently published their “World’s Best Cuisine” awards for 2022, and has scored Norwegian cuisine to be the worst ranked national cuisine of all the 95 participating countries!

The rank was made on the basis of user feedback, user ratings, professional food blogger’s and critiques feedback, and scores from a wide selection of dishes from each country in the world. Norway took the last place, just a tad lower than Moroccan, Latvian and Australian cuisines.

A plate with pinnekjøtt, rutabaga purée (kålrotstappe) and potatoes. Photo by
A plate with pinnekjøtt, rutabaga purée (kålrotstappe) and potatoes. Photo by

Norwegian cuisine is generally very bland for most people

Some people were surprised by this low ranking, but many were not. Norwegian cuisine mainly consists of mutton with a single vegetable (usually potato or carrot), and salt and peppers as the only spices.

I have heard from countless foreigners that Norwegian cuisine was one of the low points on their experiences from Norway, and even plenty of Norwegians agree that it’s not particularly good or interesting.

One of the big issues with Norwegian cuisine is that the country had little species, variety of vegetables and other types of meat available traditionally, since growing different crops in Norway has historically been very challenging.

This has lead to Norway’s national dish being “fårikål, which means “mutton in cabbage”. The name tells you all the ingredients, and the only spice is pepper. In other words, boil mutton and pieces of cabbage together with grains of pepper, and serve it with a few boiled poatoes, and you’ve got yourself fårikål.

Homemade fårikål, Norway's national dish
Homemade fårikål, Norway’s national dish. Photo by Nicklas Iversen / The Norway Guide.

That said, there are many good restaurants in Norway, and some of these have made modern versions of the national cuisine which are absolutely worth checking out. There’s even a few of them that has gotten Michelin stars for their efforts, so it’s not all bad.

Italian, Greek and Spanish cuisine are ranked the best cuisines in the world

It should probably come as no surprise that the countries ranked to have the best cuisines are places like Italy, Greece and Spain, closely followed by Japan, India and Mexico. You can see the full list of all countries and their score over at TasteAtlas’s website, but you’ve got to scroll far down to find Norway on it.

They have also ranked the top 100 dishes in 2022 based on user feedback and professional food critiques rates, but there are no dishes from Norway on it at all.

What is your opinion on Norway’s cuisine? Is it as bad as TasteAtlas has ranked it to be, or does it deserve to be higher up on the list? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!

24 thoughts on “Norway Ranked As The World’s Worst Cuisine By TasteAtlas”

  1. Well deserved! The food is one of the main reasons I’m leaving after several years in Norway. That includes both the restaurants, which are quite bad compared to other places, and supermarket selection, which is even worse.

    Reply
    • The supermarket section is a complaint I often hear from people who are visiting or moving to Norway. There’s just way too little competition for the grocery story supplies here, making the selection very poor quality. And since there’s no competition, people end up having to buy it anyway..

      Reply
  2. Hei Nicklas.
    I am also from Skien Norway, heia Odd. Flyttet til Canada 1966. Min mor og far var gode kokker og jeg liker ogsaa aa koke.
    Jeg bor naa i Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
    Min kone og jeg liker aa reise, we closed our eyes and put our finger on Canada. Herkules var min klubb for jeg bodde I Industrigata # 10.

    Reply
  3. As an American living in Norway, I have come to appreciate traditional Norwegian meals. But the quality of the food in general is very average to below average. I have given up trying to find a good steak, even at good restaurants. And for all the marketing around Norwegian salmon, good luck trying to find wild caught salmon. Everyone eats farm raised salmon in Norway.

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    • I don’t really think you can compare food around the world. As we individually have different taste and what is best to someone else might not be the same for others. Similar to music and beauty.
      I personally prefer Vietnamese ,Korean, Cameroonian, and Mexican Cuisine. Yum yummy 😋🤤😋

      Reply
      • Yeah, that’s true.

        The ranking is obviously based on peoples tastes, but asking many different people to rate different food based on their favorite is probably as good measure as any when it comes to ranking food.

        But most people will obviously not agree 100 % with the rankings.

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    • Yeah, that’s a complaint I hear about Norway often. There is virtually zero competition in the grocery store supply sector, so many products including meat tend to be very poor quality compared to other places in the world.

      If you want wild caught salmon, you probably need to get to a fish market or go grab your fishing pole.

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  4. There’s a Dovrefjelle-themed restaurant in Oslo that serves trout in cream sauce. It’s wonderful. We visited in ’08, so I hope it’s still there. Then there’s the cafe in Glasmagazinet(?) where we had reindeer carbonade with lingon, and that famous old hotel restaurant near the palace where I confess I had hval.

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    • Restaurants in Norway tend to be very high quality. We have many incredible chefs, and multiple restaurants with Michelin stars at this point.

      I’m not sure about the exact restaurant you’re speaking of, so I can’t tell if it is still there or not.

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  5. What is this? First picture is showing “Pinnekjøtt”. A cuisine served tradationally on christmas in West-Norway.

    Second picture is “fårikål”. A cuisine that is only served during end of September and early October.

    Why is “fårikål” considered a national dish when some people only eat it once a year?

    Both are poor man’s dishes from Norway. We have some of the best chefs in the world. It’s funny we are only showing of our simplest and cheapest dishes. One of our biggest export are our fish. Like salmon and cod.

    Reply
    • From what I understand, the ratings are based on ranking traditional dishes from each country. It does not include restaurants and dishes made by chefs. You can see a full list of all the dishes they used for ranking purposes here: https://www.tasteatlas.com/norway . Both pinnekjøtt and fårikål was a big part of their ranking of Norway’s dishes.

      Norwegians have a long history of viewing fårikål as our national dish. Ministry of Agriculture and Food (Landbruks- og matdepartementet) ordered an opinion from Ipsos to determine the national dish of Norway, and over 45 % wanted fårikål, 36 % wanted kjøttkaker, and all types of fish got less than 5 %. Here’s the source for this, but it’s in Norwegian only: https://www.regjeringen.no/globalassets/upload/lmd/vedlegg/div/landbr_ipsos_ppt-slides.pdf

      Reply
    • Maybe you should Google Norges Nasjonalrett? Norwegians themselves deem Fårikål to be their national dish and specialty. Even though this dish is seasonal and wrapped in ancient traditions, there is no doubt that the title is deserved.
      What do you suggest instead? Pizza? 🙂

      Reply
  6. Com on! This can not be a serious ranking.
    If it was up to me i would rank the Greek and Italian kitchen in the lower part of the list.
    If one of the credentials was use of spices, how can Greek or Italian food score hi compared to multiple asian cousins.
    Who is the selection of people that did this ranking? Probably Italian and Greek’s 🤣 and some American.
    It is impossible to to make a ranking like this, and it always comes out subjective.
    Not that i would rank the Norwegian kitchen high on the list either.

    Reply
    • Yes, it’s subjective, and rankings like these will always be.

      The basis of the ranking is from people voting on different dishes from around the world. I have no idea about the demography of the voters.

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  7. As a chef for many years in some of Norways finest hotels, I recent the implications in such ranking. Yes, traditional Norwegian cuisine might seem a bit bland, but using the same ingredients, we provide the worlds best chefs year after year in Bocuse d’Or and the cooking olympics. Go figure. Also we have some of the worlds finest restaurants including three star Michelin restaurant Maemo wich uses Norwegian produce and honours traditional Norwegian cooking.

    Reply

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