Sons of Norway lodge offers 'Taste of Norway' platter to celebrate Syttende Mai

Orders must be submitted by Tuesday, May 10, for pick up on May 17

Marianne Oyerhavn Knudson, president of the Sons of Norway Gyda Varden Lodge, is overseeing the local Syttende Mai celebration, which includes the offering of a take-out lunch platter, "Taste of Norway," featuring traditional Norwegian foods

GRAND FORKS — The Sons of Norway Gyda Varden Lodge will offer a take-out platter of traditional Norwegian foods, instead of in-lodge dining, to celebrate Syttende Mai (May 17), which is similar to Independence Day in the U.S.

Similar to last year’s offering, the “Taste of Norway” platter will consist of a selection of favorite Scandinavian foods including a smorbrod (an open-faced sandwich), riskrem with rodsaus (rice cream with red sauce), blotkake (traditional Syttende Mai and birthday cake), lefse and smakaker (small cake, a cookie-like treat).

For the smorbrod, one may choose between smoked salmon, brunost (brown cheese) or rolled ham, said Marianne Knudson, president of the Sons of Norway Gyda Varden Lodge. The salmon version is served with dill and scrambled eggs; the ham sandwich is decorated with cucumber, sweet pepper and parsley.

Norwegians eat smorbrod daily, and often several times a day, said Knudson, a native of Norway. For special occasions, “we use fancier food like smoked salmon, shrimp or roast beef on the sandwich and also decorate them with, for example, cucumber, tomato and parsley.”

The rice cream is made from cold rice porridge mixed with whipped cream, Knudson said. “The red sauce is oftentimes made with strawberries or raspberries and it makes for a delicious and quite filling treat. This is a favorite among many of our members.”


Blotkake, a sponge cake with filling, is covered in whipped cream and decorated with berries or other fruit.

For the “Taste of Norway” platter, the smakaker will be either brunkake, fattigman, tarnkake, spritz or goro — to be selected by a staff member.

Each platter is $15. A limited number of platters are available.

The Sons of Norway is in "great need" of volunteers to work Saturday, May 7, and May 15, 16 and 17 at the lodge, Knudson said. If you’re interested, call (701) 772-0980 or email .

Raffle tickets, $1 each, will also be sold at the time of pick up on May 17. The drawing will be held May 18 for: first prize - a lefse grill, second prize - a pair of Scandinavian-inspired wool mittens, and third prize - a Scandinavian-inspired apron.

Knudson, who moved here from Norway in 2005, said, “Syttende Mai is similar to Independence Day in the U.S., only, instead of independence, we celebrate our constitution, which was signed on May 17, 1814.

“In Norway, the holiday is enthusiastically celebrated. We have parades with school children, organizations and bands. There will be concerts and parties and everyone will dress up in their bunad, Norway’s national folk costume or dress, or other formal dress. We have cakes and hot dogs and ice cream and other goodies.”

Orders for the “Taste of Norway” platter must be submitted by Tuesday, May 10. Orders may be picked up, and paid for by cash or check, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 17 by driving up to the back door of the lodge, 1401 Ninth Ave. S. The food will be brought to the vehicle.


Weather-permitting, the Sons of Norway will have “live Scandinavian music to entertain our guests while waiting outside,” Knudson said.

To place an order, call (701) 772-0980 or email .

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
What To Read Next
Get Local