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Christmas Specialities: Ribbe with Medisterkaker, Pinnekjøtt with Kålrotstappe

Roast pork ribs with meatballs or lamb ribs smoked over birch branches - any choice will be delicious

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Ribbe or roasted pork belly is a Christmas food especially loved in Eastern Norway and the Trøndelag region. It is usually served with a popular side-dish Medisterkaker. These are meat balls made of minced pork and flour. Another accompaniment for Ribbe is pickled cabbage, boiled potatoes, sausages, and a special sauce. Though frozen meat might be found in the supermarkets throughout the year, fresh roast ribs are available exclusively from November to the end of December. While Eastern Norwegians celebrate Christmas with Ribbe, the West Coast indulges in lamb ribs called Pinnekjøtt. This name is literally translated to "stick meat" as the lamb is traditionally cooked over steam from burnt birch branches. The meat is served with another Christmas side-dish made of mashed swede called Kålrotstappe in Norwegian. Smoked lamb ribs are also served with sausages and boiled potatoes similar to pork ribs. These delicacies can be found on the menu between November and late December.

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