>> Nansen Lodge Heritage Fair | Eat the World NYC

03 October 2017

Nansen Lodge Heritage Fair


The day chosen by the Nansen Lodge for their celebration was the very first legitimately chilly day of autumn. This gave fair-goers the pleasure of wearing their jackets and sweaters emblazoned with the red, white, and blue Norwegian flag or that simply just said Norway in large letters. Having never seen Europeans engaging in this behavior before in their own countries, this seemed like an "Only in the USA" kind of thing. If someone had made their way from Norway for this, it would have been entertaining to see their reaction.

But as the sign on the property said, these are the sons of Norway, folks at least a generation removed and probably a few from the sound of it.

In the main tent, quite a few tables were set up with gifts and Scandinavian-themed ornaments and the like. There were also many items being raffled, so quite a few people were going to go home happy.

When I stepped up to the table for a portion of labskaus ($9, below), the lady ladling it for me said "You sound like a good one from the other side." Apparently my Brooklyn by way of Ohio "accent" was the most Norwegian thing she had heard on the day, which did not signal great for how the food would taste.

The hearty stew consisted of a thick base of potatoes, shredded beef, carrots and onions.

With room to spare after the small portion, I walked up to the Swedish Coffee Bread stand to see what was available. Kaffebröd can mean any number of bread or cookie eaten with coffee, one being the small sweet stick ($1) seen below.

After you grab your snacks, the grounds of the place are good for a wander, with athletic fields and a small viking ship you can climb on if desired. Eat at a picnic table or take a stroll. The cafeteria was also open outside, selling hamburgers and hot dogs as well as beer and wine.

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