Hot Dogs with a Nordic Twist

Posted by E.H. Kern

The Nordic countries—Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland—have given the world things like Skype, Angry Birds, Of Monsters and Men, Lars von Trier, the Noble Peace Prize, and, last but not least, Nordic Noir. In other words, the Nordic countries are not afraid to put their own twist on things.

Something else that they have put their own twist on is the hot dog.

Norway – Wrapped in a Lompe 

Hot dog wrapped in a lompe is a Wiener sausage (not to be confused with the American Vienna sausage) wrapped in a potato pancake called lompe. A lompe is made from boiled potatoes, wheat flour, and salt, fried in a dry cast-iron skillet. Place the hot dog at the center of the lompe and add the condiment of your choice, e.g. raw onion, cronions, ketchup, mustard, potato salad, shrimp salad, grated cheese, or bacon. Roll up the lompe with the sausage and the condiments inside. Enjoy!

A regional specialty is a hot dog in a waffle. This specialty is found in the region surrounding the city of Moss in south-east Norway, mainly served during soccer home games.

Denmark – Red Sausage w/ Remoulade Sauce & Bread on the Side

Arguably the most famous food from Denmark is the bright red Wiener sausage. Originally, the color red was added to sausages of lesser quality to distinguish them from those of better quality. However, people found the red color appealing, and the lesser quality sausages became more popular. Today, there is no difference in quality between red and other sausages. 

The red sausage is served on a platter with the condiments and the bread on the side. You eat the sausage and bread separately, dipping the sausage in the condiments. A popular condiment is the remoulade sauce, made from mayonnaise, capers, gherkins, and chervil.

Sweden – The Half Special with Pucko

According to legend, the Half Special was created in the city of Gothenburg in the 1940s when two guys walked up to a gatukök (a type of fast-food kiosk) and ordered a hot dog in a bun with some mashed potatoes on top. A week later, the guys returned and asked for “one of those specials.”

Since then the Half Special has developed into a classic dish, most commonly found in west Sweden. The Half Special is one Wiener sausage in a hot dog bun topped with two dollops of mashed potatoes. Served on a platter with ketchup, mustard, shrimp salad, gherkin mayonnaise, and a chocolate drink called Pucko. (“Pucko” is also Swedish slang for “stupid person.”)

Finland – Hot Dog Wrapped in Paper

Much of Finnish culture is straight to the point without any frills. This includes hot dogs, as well. Hot dogs as Finnish party food is one grilled hot dog with ketchup and mustard served in a piece of paper. As I said, straight to the point and no frills.

Iceland – One with Everything 

In Iceland, sheep outnumber humans nearly two to one. Perhaps that is why the Icelandic people eat so many hot dogs. And not just any hot dog, but the Icelandic pylsa made from lamb with a little bit of pork and beef mixed in. The pylsa is served in a hot dog bun with any of these four condiments—cronions, raw onions, ketchup, mustard, and remoulade sauce. Or you can order it the way the Icelandic do, and have “ein með öllu,” or ”one with everything.”

Thank you to Erik Opsahl (Norway), Helene Castenbrandt (Denmark), Charlotte Vainio (Finland), and Johann Thorsson (Iceland).