Norwegian 101: Pumpkin Primer

Photo: Pixabay Pumpkins aren’t used for food as much as they used to be.

Photo: Pixabay
Pumpkins aren’t used for food as much as they used to be.

Heidi Håvan Grosch
Sparbu, Norway

Pumpkins (gresskar) aren’t the fall (høst) staple they used to be (som de pleide å være). Pickled pumpkin (syltet gresskar) and cooked pumpkin (kokt gresskar) has a history (har en historie) here in Norway, but the carving (utskjæring) of jack-o-lanterns is something that has infiltrated (er noe som har infiltrert) Norwegian culture (norsk kultur) in fairly recent times (i nyere tid).

Despite (til tross) this new trend (nye trenden), “Norwegian households (norske husholdninger) use (bruker) very little (svært lite) pumpkins compared to (i forhold til) what they used (hva de gjorde) a generation or two (en generasjon eller to) ago,” commented Ketil Aatlo from Frosta in a Trønder-Avisa article on September 9. He says (han sier) there is a shortage of (det er en mangel på) carving pumpkins, and wishes Halloween came a little earlier (litt tidligere) in the season because it’s a bit too long (litt for lang tid) for him to store (å lagre) the pumpkins he picks (gresskar han plukker).

He says that it used to be (det pleide å være) normal to plant pumpkins (til å plante gresskar) in your compost pile (komposthaugen) as they do well with lots of fertilizer (gjødsel). He plants outside (ute) the end of May (slutten av mai), and when the pumpkins are ripe (modne), he picks (plukker) every day (hver dag). Norway harvests (høster) about 300 tons of pumpkins according to Aatlo, much less (mye mindre) than even 50 years ago (enn selv 50 år siden), and he doubts (han tviler på) that the tradition (tradisjonen) of using pumpkins (med å bruke gresskar) for food (for mat) will return (kommer tilbake). “Who has time?” (hvem har tid?) he says. But despite the times (men til tross for tiden), some are still interested (noen er forsatt interessert). Oslo had a “largest pumpkin competition” (største gresskarkonkurranse) at the end of September.

Perhaps (kanskje) we should have a pickled pumpkin contest (en syltet gresskarkonkurranse) at the Norwegian American Weekly? Anyone have a recipe (oppskrift) you like?

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 24, 2014, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

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