Food culture and traditions at the Lofoten Museum

11 September 2023

On the occasion of the Cultural Heritage Days, the Lofoten Museum has collaborated with our well-known and beloved “Bakstekjærring”, Anne Røde, invited students from VIO in Svolvær to a day of baking.

Grain

Like all other countries, grains are a very important part of our food source. And grains and whole grain products have been part of our diet for thousands of years.

– They contain fiber, vitamin B, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, selenium and manganese, and is an important source of amino acids that one otherwise does not get from meat products.

Anne is a great enthusiast for food culture and traditions, and first had a small introduction about the most common grains in Norway. We have rye, wheat, oats and barley. But the ones we have used most historically are oats and barley because of the Norwegian climate.

Anne took the students through a time journey with pictures of how flour has been ground from grain to flour, and fireplaces/ovens have been developed up to the present day.

museumsgjenstander

Afterwards, they tried their hand at baking with hands and with a rolling pin. They were each given their own topics to be carefully weighed up, and guidance on how to use the rolling pins wisely on the subject. Once the dough had become large, round and leaf-thin, it could be rolled on a stick and placed on the griddle for baking.

There were many great flatbreads!

Gahkko – Sami type of bread

They also got to make “Gahkko”, which is a Sami type of bread. Unlike flatbread, this is a yeast dough (formerly sourdough). These were not to be rolled, but patted outward into round flat loaves. (Hence the Norwegian name: Klappakake, on similar bread.) They would lie for 5–10 minutes to rest before running over them with a baking pulley with spikes, after which they too would be on the griddle for frying.

They then took these loaves and flatbreads into the dining room when they were done and had a traditional meal together. With Norwegian spreads on the table. Like brown cheese, goat cheese, gomme, prim, caviar, jam and sour cream.

It was an eventful and educational day for everyone!

Thank you to Anne Røde and all the students and teachers from VIO in Svolvær who participated.

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