Best hamburger on earth—in Norway?

Photo: / Flickr
Photo shown is not the actual winner, though this Korean barbecue sirloin burger with kimchi might have won had a similar contest been held in Korea.

Victoria Hofmo
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Each year the four-day American Festival Extravaganza is held in Vanse, Norway, during the last week in June. As part of the event, it hosts a cooking contest, judged for the past several years by Andreas Viestad, host of PBS’s popular New Scandinavian Cooking. The first festival I attended had a political twist. Each political party that participated in the contest had to meld edible elements that symbolized their party’s values to create a tasty dish. Needless to say, there were quite creative results.

Last year, locals competed to concoct the best milkshake. The winner was Nina Eitland for her entry “All Shook Up,” an homage to Elvis. It contained bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate.

This year’s contest was for the best hamburger, and the winner was Keven Syvertsen, a carpenter who “finds it exciting to cook,” according to festival president Tina Elisabeth Nilsen.

“After several years of cakes and dessert in the competition, this year it was time to hold a competition focusing on a typical American food, the hamburger,” she told me.

Six participants competed for the grand prize, a large barbecue with accessories worth 5,000 NOK, and the winner was chosen “on the basis of the use of raw materials, creativity, taste, and overall impression.”

Syvertsen’s winning hamburger contained grated entrecôte, homemade brioche, pickled red onion, ruccola salad (arugula), kajennepeppermajones (cayenne pepper mayonnaise), homemade ketchup, and radish.

I can’t wait to see what the American Festival comes up with for next year’s cooking contest or to see what the creative contestants dream up!

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 3, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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Victoria Hofmo

Victoria Hofmo was born, raised, and still lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, the historical heart of Norwegian New York. She is 3/4 Scandinavian: 1/2 Norwegian and 1/4 Danish/Swedish. Self-employed, she runs an out-of-school-time program that articulates learning through the arts. Hofmo is an advocate for arts and culture, education, and the preservation of the built and natural environment of her hometown, with a love for most things Scandinavian.