I've heard that it's very difficult to be a vegetarian in Scandinavia. Other than eating cheese for 2 weeks, does anyone have suggestions?
Google " Sweden vegetarians". You'll learn that one in ten Swedes is vegetarian and there is a list of 30 veg. restaurants in Stockholm. It looks like you have been misinformed.
Potatoes and fish are a big part of traditional cuisine, but it's hard to find a restaurant listing in Rick's Scandinavia book that doesn't mention salads, as well. (The new book should be in our store this week or next, with lots of updates from the previous edition.)
Thanks for the Sweden vegetarians info. I am a vegetarian, which means I do not eat fish, and salads are not very filling.
Well, then, what kind of food are you looking for specifically? Maybe someone can direct you to some ethic restaurants?
For protein I eat all kinds of beans, tofu, seitan, edamame, tempeh, peanuts/peanut butter, hummus, eggs, yogurt and quinoa. Some ethnic restaurants are certainly a consideration for vegetarian meals.
Here's one option in Stockholm: Hermitage Restaurant is a friendly, faded, hippie-feeling joint that serves a tasty vegetarian buffet in a warm communal dining setting (120 kr gets you a meal, Mon-Fri 11:00-21:00, Sat-Sun 12:00-21:00, Stora Nygatan 11, tel. 08/411-9500).
Thanks, that sounds very appealing.
Difficulty being a vegetarian will depend on where you travel in Scandinavia. Shouldn't be a problem in urban areas, especially if you are a basic vegetarian vs gluten-free vegan with multiple food allergies. Peppe's Pizza in Oslo is a budget fallback and they have a "Green Garden" pizza that's marked as vegetarian and they have a bunch of vegetarian salads.
Mountain tourist huts are more limited but cheese (especially brown "cheese") and fish ate plentiful in the tourist hyttes. (I included fish in deference to a Danish vegetarian in our hut to hut ski group. He only didn't eat warm blooded animals so he could get by on on cheese and fish.). If you let the hutte staff know, they can leave out the meat from whatever the are cooking.
Vegans are pretty resourceful. Interesting story:
I will be in urban areas some of the time, so I appreciate knowing it won't be as much of a problem there. It frustrates me when someone who eats fish calls themself a vegetarian. That person would be a pescetarian; one who eats fish and seafood, but no other meat. It makes it difficult for a true vegetarian to be clearly understood as to what's acceptable.
And, Edgar, thanks for that link. Good to hear peanut butter is an option in Scandinavia, since it is a great source of protein. I've been to some countries where it isn't known.
When I was living in Sweden, one of the challenges that a vegetarian colleague had was that some restaurants would confuse a vegetarian with a pescetarian .... partly because fish is such a staple of the Swedish diet that you find many people who eat fish but no other meat. You may need to explicitly state that you don't eat fish in more traditional restaurants.
In Stockholm, you will have good options at the Hötorget Food hall (Hötorgshallen) which has some good middle eastern prepared food. Someone previously mentioned Hermans. on Fjällgatan, a street with a great view. There is always pizza (I like Ciao Ciao Due on Karlavägen). You might also check out the recommendations on the Green Kitchen Stories blog.
Edgar's link reminded me of the Happy Cow website, another resource: http://www.happycow.net/
And I share your frustration with definitions. People calling themselves vegetarians can have all kinds of things they will or won't eat, and many of them should indeed use other terms to define themselves, but seldom do. So, you just have to be very specific. My sister was fond of the expressions "nothing with a face" and "nothing that ever moved." But I'll bet that would baffle people, so Rick's wording is probably best (modified, of course, to meet your exact dietary preferences): "I/We do not eat red meat, poultry, fish, or seafood. Milk and eggs are OK."
There are plenty of supermarkets here in Norway that carry a wide range of foods that you will like. Fruits and vegetables are plentiful. Many restaurent menus in urban areas such as Oslo and even Bergen code their menus with allergens in their menu items as well as Vegetarian/Vegan options.
You won't be stuck eating cheese!