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Watch Norwegians Awkwardly Subject Americans in Oslo to Their Christmas Traditions

American Embassy staff try Norwegian Christmas food.

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“Ooh, what is that?” an American woman asks as she gently prods a mysterious food item that resembles hunks of meat laid out over a jelly-like slab of white fish.

“Yuck,” she adds, turning up her nose at the traditional Norwegian Christmas meal.

So begins the U.S. Embassy in Norway’s goofy two-and-a-half-minute video “Americans Try Norwegian Christmas Food,” which looks more like it belongs on Buzzfeed than on the diplomatic mission’s YouTube channel.

In just 151 seconds, various members of the embassy staff try and comment on eight Norwegian Christmas foods (and one drink):

  1. Cabaret (“Might not be my first choice.”)
  2. Sennepssild (“Cold chicken is what comes to mind.”)
  3. Rakfisk (“I have been warned away from eating this.”)
  4. Lutefisk (“Is this fish or jelly?”)
  5. Raspeball (“I think it might be a cat’s brain.”)
  6. Ribbe (“That smells like Christmas.”)
  7. Pinnekjott (“That has a really strong aroma.”)
  8. Smalahove (“You look so sad. But you’re dead.”)

And 9. They wash it all down with Aquavit. (“It tastes like moonshine.”)

Photo credit: YouTube screenshot

Siobhán O’Grady is a freelance journalist working across sub-Saharan Africa. She previously worked as a staff writer at Foreign Policy. @siobhan_ogrady

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