A modern Norwegian tradition
Make tacofredag the best part of your week
True North Kitchen
When I began writing my Nordic food blog, True North Kitchen, I was quite sure that my Mexican-food eating days were behind me. Hello, boiled potatoes, salmon, and rye bread… goodbye, tacos and guacamole.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that many Scandinavians spend their Friday nights getting cozy at home and eating tortilla chips and tacos! Known as tacofredag in Norwegian (Taco Friday) or fredagsmys in Swedish (Cozy Friday), this unlikely tradition began in the 1990s with an ad campaign for chips.
This genius marketing concept glorified the idea of spending Friday nights at home munching on tacos and hanging out with your friends and family. Taco Friday quickly became a popular ritual in modern Scandinavian culture and continues its reign as the thing to do on Friday to celebrate the beginning of the weekend.
Tips for creating your own tacofredag ritual
Find some delicious, easy taco recipes. I’ll get you started with my recipe for THE BEST ground beef tacos (it’s important to master the basics, after all), but consider branching out from this good old stand-by. There are so many interesting taco recipes out there these days featuring chicken, fish, beans, or roasted vegetables in place of the predictable ground meat. Get creative!
Chips and dip. Whether it’s salsa, guacamole, or something more exotic, you’re going to want something crunchy to munch on while you prepare your tacos.
Beverages. Whatever your festive beverage of choice might be, I am a beer and tacos kind of girl but also love a good margarita now and then.
Convince your people to stay home with you. You don’t need to ask this homebody to spend Friday night in. But here in the United States, we are more likely to go out for a bite to eat on Friday nights than our Scandinavian counterparts. Make Taco Friday a festive occasion, a reason to stay home in and of itself.
Find something fun to watch. Scandinavians typically gather around the television and watch something together as they munch on their tacos. Find a movie or show that everyone can agree on (sometimes this is the hardest part) and snuggle in for dinner and a show.
I can’t wait for you to get a Taco Friday ritual going with your friends and family! It’s such a fun and festive way to begin the weekend.
Easiest and Best Ground Beef Tacos*
For taco filling:
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 small onion, diced fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsps. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 pound ground beef, about 90% lean
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup smooth tomato sauce
1 tsp. packed brown sugar
2 tsps. cider vinegar
Tortillas (flour or corn, soft or hard shell)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Here’s how you make it:
Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Add garlic and spices. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink and just cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. Stir to combine and allow mixture to simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt if necessary. Serve with tortillas and toppings.
*Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 7, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.