Do Norwegians have the most boring lunch in the world? According to a recent BBC article, we do.
The phenomenon can be witnessed everywhere – in offices and schools, on public transport, out hiking near icy fjords. If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that all will contain the same humble open sandwich. And, if it’s been made correctly, it will be dry, flavourless and predominantly beige in colour. “In Norway, you’re not supposed to look forward to your lunch,” says Ronald Sagatun, who works in advertising and hosts a YouTube channel about Norwegian culture.
Do I agree? No. Matpakke which is the Norwegian name for packed lunch is predominately for school children as there is no school dinners in Norway.
For adults, in workplaces, there is another Norwegian concept, the kantine or canteen, an in-house restaurant which is subsidised. As an employee you’d be enjoying daily wide selection of hot and cold meals as well as salad bar, fruits and waffles and cakes on Fridays for a mere £30 a month.
But going back to the matpakke. I don’t really recognise the “dry, flavourless and predominantly beige in colour”. In some schools there’s almost an issue that the matpakke has become a competition, to have the most exciting lunch; open sandwich with cheese and ham, topped with lots of slices of cucumber and red peppers, or chicken, or roastbeef. The list goes on. And there’s always a piece of fruit or vegetable as well as a youghurt on the side.
This is also what spurred the idea of this (rather lovely) ad: appealing for people to care for those who aren’t as fortunate as the rest of us, simply shown by using the matpakke as an example.
In the Norwegian matpakke there’s no sight of a soft drink or a bag of crisps. Only healthy and wholesome food – something to look forward to.
Or how boring does this look to you?
All images in this article is by Matprat.no