Fårikål, a humble pottage of boiled lamb and cabbage, has been Norway’s official national dish for more than 40 years. Autumn is the ideal month to enjoy lamb in Norway, which can be tasted in a large range of preparations, flavours and cuts. But undoubtedly the most traditional one is Fårikål – made of lamb and cabbage- which is a typical early autumn dish. The season usually starts in mid-September when the lambs are slaughtered. The best Fårikål is made from fresh pieces of lamb meat with bone.
Fårikål is among the best in the world. Over 95 per cent of Norwegian lambs graze in outlying pastures along the coast, in the forests and mountains and over vast expanses of untouched nature.
Sheep utilize grass forage resources in landscapes too poor to use for more intensive agricultural purposes, and sheep husbandry is a cornerstone of the economy in many rural areas of Norway. Currently some 2.1 million sheep are released each summer onto outlying pastures.
Norwegian farms are located either close to mountain areas and other sparsely populated areas or along the coast, with a means to transport sheep to more distant alpine areas for summer grazing. The main product is meat, which accounts for about 80% of the average farmer’s income. The remainder comes from wool, because sheep milk production is virtually nonexistent today.
Housing and indoor feeding are required throughout the winter because of snow and harsh weather conditions. In Norway, winter feeding typically consists of hay grown on pastures close to farms (80%), with the addition of concentrate pellets provided by the industry (20%). When weather conditions permit, ewes and lambs are released together into rough grazing areas in the valleys and mountains. In Norway, most sheep (about 75% of the total metabolic biomass) graze in the northern boreal and alpine region.
The image is from the recipe page. 🙂