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Fårikål - Celebrating Fall Harvest with Mutton and Cabbage


Fårikål is a compounded word that literally means "mutton in cabbage." It was voted as Norway's national dish in 1970 and re-confirmed as the national dish in 2014. Traditionally served in September, it is related to the harvest of the sheep before winter, as well as final shearing and mating season for the ewes and rams.

Sheep and goats are some of the most important animals in pre-historic Scandinavia and were ritualized during the pre-Christian periods. Brought to Scandinavia during the Bronze Age, the honorable sheep is responsible for the success of Viking excursions as one ship sail required the fleece of 700 sheep. The goat folds into stories about Thor, but the humble sheep gets no such mythic stance except perhaps Frigg's cart pulled by rams (if we interpret them as sheep rather than goats).

Let's explore this special time of year while eating Fårikål, trying our hand at spinning, pondering the sheep skin tradition, and thinking about the sheep's heads of Christmas yet to come!