If you’re going to be guessing what a random Norwegian family has for dinner on Friday night, the most likely answer is taco! We Norwegians love our Friday taco, called fredagstaco in Norwegian. This cultural phenomenon has garnered nationwide popularity, and practically everyone eats tacos on Fridays in Norway.
So, what’s eating the Norwegain Friday taco like? Let’s take a closer look at how a typical fredagstaco is like for Norwegians families.
A basic Norwegian taco uses either a hard shell or soft tortillas with minced meat spiced with a taco flavor mix. Add salsa, white cheese and your preferred types of vegetables (more about these later), and you have your “traditional” Norwegian Friday taco. These tacos are far from the tacos you would find in Mexico or even the United States.
Most people eat tacos from standardized kits that you can buy at any grocery store. These typically include a bunch of taco shells, a packet of taco spice mix that suits the standardized 400 g of minced meat you buy with it, and some taco salsa. You can buy soft tortillas instead of the regular hard taco shells if you want, as well as more unconventional types of salsa if you prefer that.
In addition to the minced meat and the taco kit, you will need to get white cheese that should be shredded, and either crème fraîche or sour cream (rømme). And of course all the vegetables, which we will be looking closer at very soon.
When it comes to the meat, you are free to choose yourself. Most people used regular ground beef from oxen, but it’s also somewhat common to used minced meat from pork or chickens, or even fish (usually salmon).
Vegetables for your Norwegian Friday taco
The great thing about the Norwegian taco is that you can use pretty much any vegetable you want. Don’t want onions on your taco? No problem! Just don’t add it.
Some of the most common vegetables to use are:
- Regular salad / lettuce. Some use standard iceberg lettuce, others prefer other cultivars of the lettuce.
- Onions. Either raw or cooked, and sometimes different types of onions.
- Tomatoes. Either fresh or sun-dried.
- Mushrooms, typically champignon.
- Paprika / sweet pepper.
Some more exotic fruits and vegetables that some people add to their tacos are:
- Carrots. Adds some crispyness to the tacos.
- Beans. Many different types of beans can be added. They also serve as the main substitute to minced meat if you want a vegetarian alternative.
How to serve the taco in the Norwegian style
Tacos are served by chopping all vegetables into usable sizes, then put into small bowls. Now put all the things on a table, find some plates, and let everyone make their own taco right at the eating table.
This will absolutely lead to lots of waiting for a person to finish one vegetable before you can get it, and the more people you are at the dinner, the more chaotic the entire dinner will be. That’s just a part of the traditional Norwegian taco Friday experience though, so make sure to bring a bit of patience with you.
It’s actually one of the few dishes that are somewhat social, and it’s absolutely not possible to eat this with 4 or more people while watching TV since people will be passing the different vegetables between each other all the time.
Why are tacos so popular to eat on Fridays in Norway?
Norwegians love to cook at home, and most Norwegians also want to relax and have a nice time with their family on Friday evening. So what’s better than making tacos? The main reasons why the taco became such a popular dinner dish for Fridays are:
- It’s pretty easy to make, and does not require any cooking skills.
- It’s very quick to assemble, especially if you are multiple people who cooperate.
- It’s pretty healthy.
- It’s pretty cheap to buy the ingredients. You often have many of them in the fridge already.
- You can choose your own ingredients, so everyone can make a taco they are happy with.
- Leftovers from the taco makes for a great lunch on the weekend.
While taco Friday is a very popular concept, most families don’t eat tacos every single Friday. As a matter of fact, about 9 % of all Norwegian people eat taco every single Friday, and it’s much more common to eat taco on Fridays every 2nd or 3rd Friday, so it’s just a few times a month.
It’s also not unheard of to eat tacos at other times during the week. Saturdays and Sundays are also popular days for eating tacos, but most families tend to have more time to make dinners that require more time during the weekend, so tacos are great to make after coming home from work.
Despite the huge number of different ingredients, making tacos is actually very fast since most of the assembly is done directly at the table. Just chop the vegetables and cook the meat, and you’re ready to go in 15 minutes.
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.