Turmat, the Special Food for Trips
Updated: Apr 29, 2021
Turmat is a simple word that has such meaning. It is basically trip food, the trip usually being a hike or an outing outside in nature. Or if you are more adventurous, a camping trip where there is no possibility of buying food whilst you are there. As you know being outdoors is a very important part of Nordic life and of course it's vital to stay nourished. But turmat is not just simple nourishment of the body, it's also a chance to introduce the all important "koselig" element to your trip. Turmat can be your packed lunch for the day with healthy options such as fruit or vegetables and a slice with bread with a topping, but it can also be a treat. Chocolate is a perfectly acceptable option here in Norway and small bars of chocolate are frequently referred to as "tursjokolade" (trip chocolate) and are something that can easily be grabbed to be enjoyed at a key point in the hike when you need a pick me up.
So many hiking routes in Norway enjoy small open cabins with seating and campfire areas for hikers to set up for a little while and cook hot food, often with beautiful views. We frequently arrive at one of these little cabins to find that someone is just leaving and will leave the fire going for us. Of course, any trip can be long enough to require a lunch break, especially if you have kids. And that probably means something a bit more substantial. Pølse (hotdogs) or pinnebrød (a special bread wrapped around a stick and cooked over the fire) are other popular turmat.
In Norway, trips are frequently longer than just a day. Camping and hiking for weekends and holidays are very popular and on those trips you will have everything you need with you in your backpack. That is when turmat gets creative! What will keep, what can be cooked easily and what can be foraged for free.
Of course, in the current situation not many people are able to take trips overnight right now, but you can still enjoy a little "turmat" on your shorter trips out, or even in your garden or living room. Who says turmat is only for long hikes?!
Here are a few Nordic turmat ideas to get you started:
The famous Norwegian sweet flatbread, often sandwiched together with sweet cinnamon butter. You can find my tjukklefse recipe here
A special bread that is wrapped around a stick and cooked over a campfire
Rice pudding that is great hot or cold and travels really well in a container with a lid. Nam nam. You can find a recipe here
A classic Nordic dessert of rice pudding and whipped cream. It's light, and delicious and great treat for the end of a hike. My riskrem recipe is here.
And of course, a few cookies, maybe some chocolate and a hot drink.
In the northern hemisphere we are in the middle of winter (but even if we weren't) a few extra calories won't go amiss for turmat and we all deserve a treat at the moment!
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