Norwegian “Halloween Food”

Halloween is getting closer so I thought I would help out anyone who needs help planning food for their Halloween party.


This is a Smalahove, usually served with boiled potatoes and rutabaga mash and often consumed with alcohol (akvavit or beer). As you may see, a Smalahove is half a sheep’s head which has been smoked and then boiled or steamed. It is quite good!

It is not really meant to be eaten on Halloween, at least not traditionally. For Norwegians Halloween is a rather new holiday, not celebrated anywhere near as much as in the US and even UK.

In the Old Times smalahove was only eaten by the poor, but in modern times it has become something of a national dish (among others). It is often served to tourists, and there is even an annual food festival called Smalahovesleppet held in Voss. Yes, the place that unreasonably expensive bottled tap water is named after.

Even so, I am sure you can see how eating a sheep’s head down to its skull while moody music plays in the background before putting on a good horror movie would lend itself to Halloween.

The Recipe


The Head

Portion up half a head per person.

I would recommend not starting with a raw sheep head unless you are very skilled in smoking and removing the brain and everything. It is probably much easier to get a hold of a smoked head in Norway, but try asking your local butcher anyway. Who knows, they may be able to help you out.

Once you have your smoked heads the rest is pretty easy.

Put the heads in water 24 hours before you start cooking, to remove some of the salt used in the smoking process. After this, remove the water.

Now you have to steam the heads in a pot for about 2 and a half hours, preferably with a grate in the bottom of the pot. Just leave the pot on a low temperature with the lid on, and check in on it every now and then to make sure the water has not evaporated completely.

The heads are done when the meat is barely holding on to the bone.

The Potatoes

Just peel and boil however many you want.

The Mash

For 4 People you need 1 rutabaga, 1 carrot and 1 potato. Peel and boil them all together until they are soft. Remove the water and mash them with a potato masher or mixer or something. Mix in a bit milk (1 dl for this amount) and taste with salt, pepper and butter.

And there you have it!


Just make sure to start with the eyes, as they are just as good as the rest of the meat when warm, but pretty icky when they have cooled down a bit.

What weird foods do you like to eat?

And what is usually on the menu for you around Halloween?

One thought on “Norwegian “Halloween Food”

  1. Pingback: Happy Halloween! | SindrElf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s