Thanks For The Food, Whitney. – Norway On A Plate.

Whitney Love moved to Norway in 2007. Her boyfriend at
that time was from Stavanger, and she decided to move with him to his hometown.
She fell in love with the culture and decided to stay indefinitely, even though
she is no longer with the same man.

Before moving to Norway she lived in Germany where she
worked as an English teacher and as a freelance travel writer. At that time she
hardly knew what a blog was, and she did not expect to own a popular Norwegian
food blog with readers from all over the world just a few years later.

– In the beginning the only person I thought read my
blog was my mom, and most of the time she was not even reading it, but suddenly
I was contacted by the food festival here (Norway), and I was just like “oh my
god”, she says laughing.

When she moved to Norway she got herself a fulltime
job and she was eager to learn more about Norwegian culture and Norwegian people.

– A lot of people say that Norwegians are cold; I
would not say that this is true, but Norwegians have a different cultural
perspective than Americans. It’s just a fact – but not right or wrong either
way. The easiest way to get in touch with somebody ́s culture is through their
food.

– I remember when I first came here, I felt like it
was so dark, so windy, so cold, and nobody would smile at me on the street. For
example, if I did smile at a stranger on the street, they would look away or
look down and I didn´t get why people would avoid making eye contact with me. I
don´t think that Norwegians are standoffish or rude. Once I stopped taking the
lack of contact personally and realized that Norwegians are shy with each other
too, it made sense. Also, if you don´t want it to rain in your face, you have
to look down, she says before she starts to laugh at her own joke.

– I want
people to be interested in Norway.

She comments that she has always been a writer. She
started her journalistic career early. When she was 17 years old she worked for
the second largest newspaper in Arizona, she has also published two travel
books under her name, and after the blog became popular she also published a
cookbook with Norwegian recipes.

– It is an e-cookbook made for tablets and computers.
I wanted it to be available for everyone all over the world.

She has been requested by her blog readers to write a
sequel, but according to her, that has to wait because she has several other
ideas that she would like to realise first. About why she wants to write about
Norwegian food she says:

– I want people to see the Norwegian food culture, and
I want people to be interested in Norway. I use my blog to show that there are
a lot of cool things about Norway. I got an e-mail from a woman in Australia a
couple of weeks ago, she had met a Norwegian man online, and she was so
interested in learning Norwegian and about what she should cook for the man
when he was to come visit.


Norwegian food is honest.

Whitney says that she likes traditional Norwegian food
the best and adds that her favourite Norwegian food is meatballs.

– It is totally traditional and boring but… What I
really like about traditional Norwegian food is that it is really honest. You
don´t have to be a chef to make for example meatballs. You can buy ingredients
that are very simple and not extravagant. It is not very complicated, and it is
welcoming because everyone is able to cook it. All of the food is homemade and
fresh, for example my boyfriend´s parents have chickens in their back yard
because they want fresh eggs, he-he.

To make one thing strait, is not common to have
chicken your backyard in Norway, and Whitney sais that she does not have any
farm animals in her backyard either, but she still thinks that it is important
with fresh and healthy food.

The
potato festival was an eye opener.

In 2011 Whitney attended a potato festival, and she
was amazed that they had between 30-40 different types of potatoes there. At
this festival she got an eye opener and she understood that “this is not all
about food, it´s about people´s lives, it´s about a lifestyle.” Whitney also
sais that food is about culture, family, traditions and that it is about all
the things that everyone wants to connect to.

– When I visit a family and eat with them, I feel like
it´s very honest, that it is Norway on a plate, and that it says: “this is what
our family is about, this is what our culture is about.”

She says that the food in the US can be quite
processed compared to what one finds in Norway by and large.

-When I ask people about American food they often
mentions American fast food restaurants, but when I ask Norwegians about
Norwegian food they often say something like meatballs, fish cakes or one of
the brilliant Christmas dishes.

Mostly
American readers.

Most of her readers on her blog are Americans, but she
also has 30% Norwegian readers, which has been very supportive.

– It has been… can I use the American word amazing?
She says with a giggle.

– It has been amazing that the Norwegian food and
blogging community has been so open to me, even though I am a foreigner who
says things like “I love meatballs” and “brown cheese please”.

The next
step.

The next step for her food blog will probably be to
fix her YouTube channel into a cooking channel. She admits that right now it
looks a bit “amateur ish”, but that it is something that she whish to change.

Whitney is not a woman who sits still, and she always
has a project going on. About how she gets time to do all of her projects she
says:

– Instead of watching TV I study, work, go to the gym,
focus on my blog, it is what I love, it is where my passion is.

She also says that she comes from a country that has a
totally different approach towards work, and that she always has been told to
chase after her dreams.

Whitney wants to help people who come to Norway with
getting integrated, and she want people to see Norway as something more than
just a cold and expensive country.

When it comes to blog tips she says: “find something
that you are passionate about, find something you love, find something that
inspires your soul. Just have fun.”

About5

Whitney Love is a journalist/ writer / blogger from
Arizona, USA, currently living in Stavanger, Norway. She started her blog www.thanksforthefood.com
in 2009 and has 33% of her readers in the US, 30% in Norway, and the rest of
the readers come from all over the world. Whitney has written two travel
guidebooks, and a cookbook, Takk for
maten
, which she sells on her blog as an e-book.

Whitney has a passion for food, and she wants to help
people with cooking real food, every day, without going broke. Her blog consist
of everything from written recipes, to how-to-do videos.

Next to her blog she has a regular 9-5 job as a media
consult.

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