Watch Norwegians Awkwardly Subject Americans in Oslo to Their Christmas Traditions

American Embassy staff try Norwegian Christmas food.

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 12.54.25 PM
Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 12.54.25 PM

“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.

“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

More from Foreign Policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a commission on military-technical cooperation with foreign states in 2017.
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a commission on military-technical cooperation with foreign states in 2017.

What’s the Harm in Talking to Russia? A Lot, Actually.

Diplomacy is neither intrinsically moral nor always strategically wise.

Officers with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) wait outside an apartment in Kharkiv oblast, Ukraine.
Officers with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) wait outside an apartment in Kharkiv oblast, Ukraine.

Ukraine Has a Secret Resistance Operating Behind Russian Lines

Modern-day Ukrainian partisans are quietly working to undermine the occupation.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron wave as they visit the landmark Brandenburg Gate illuminated in the colors of the Ukrainian flag in Berlin on May 9, 2022.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron wave as they visit the landmark Brandenburg Gate illuminated in the colors of the Ukrainian flag in Berlin on May 9, 2022.

The Franco-German Motor Is on Fire

The war in Ukraine has turned Europe’s most powerful countries against each other like hardly ever before.

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a semiconductor during his remarks before signing an executive order on the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a semiconductor during his remarks before signing an executive order on the economy in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C.

How the U.S.-Chinese Technology War Is Changing the World

Washington’s crackdown on technology access is creating a new kind of global conflict.