Norway’s biggest food festival, Matstreif, (matfestival in Norwegian) was arranged the 2.-4. September at Rådhusplassen, in the heart of Oslo. The festival is for you that loves local homemade food. It was like a kind of Farmer’s market, quite unusual in Norway. We have visited Food Festivals in Europe before, but never in Norway.

Having a food market like this in Oslo is a really good idea, as most people are searching for locally produced food, and it is getting more and more common to have chosen the ecologic options. Locally produced food is cleaner, has a better taste, and is the key for a healthier lifestyle. While the supermarkets compete on price, the local producers compete on quality. A farmers market is the place to find a variety of fresh fish and meat.

Farmers market in Oslo

It was a very sunny and beautiful weekend in Oslo, and we were just walking by when we found this interesting food festival in Oslo last Saturday. We had no plans, so we decided to have a closer look at what “Matstreif” had to offer! And we were hungry… There were many chances to try out local meat, fish, and also some other specialties.

It was marketed as “Norway’s Food Festival” and then it must be allowed to have high expectations. We want to share our experiences. Local producers of food deserve to hear what we think. We guess there will come new farmer’s markets next year…

A burger of everything…

Hamburgers, hot dogs, and the kebabs seem to have taken over for all food in Norway. Many providers offered a burger with their locally produced elk, deer, reindeer, salmon, grouse, chickens, and so on. Norway is actually the home of sausages, which you can read about here. It was almost impossible to find a gourmet-style presentation or a salad or a fillet.

We had really liked to see the food presented in some creative presentation and making it delicious to eat! One of the points of this kind of festival should be to tempt the customers to try something new. The providers seemed to be scared to have some free giveaways… Instead some of them seld incredibly small portions for 20,30 or 50 kroner! They should have been free! It felt like the providers were really miserly!

matfestival oslo matstreif

When local producers representing farms from different regions of Norway, it is logical that prices are quite high. Exclusive local food is often more expensive than supermarket food… And Norway is an expensive place to produce food. Salaries are high, distances are long, transport from north to south may take 24 hours in a car. High taxes are also an issue. Well, that was Matstreif 2016. Let’s see if Matstreif 2017 will be better…