Norway Prison Food Look Like

Not only for its aurora, Norway is also known for its progressive approach to incarceration. The incarceration system in this country is more humane compared to almost every country in this world. It focuses more on rehabilitation than punishment. They believe that taking away the prisoners’ freedom is enough. That’s why they think it is not necessary to also put them in a place like hell.

The philosophy mentioned above extends to every single aspect of prison life, including the food served to inmates. The Norwegian prisons want their inmates to get meals that are not only nutritious but also reflective of the culinary standards of the country and respect for human dignity. The question is, what does Norway prison food look like?

Prison System in Norway

Before finding out what Norway prison food looks like, it is better for you to learn about how it is like to live in a Norway prison. Unlike the other countries, the prison system in Norway is known to be one of the most humane in the world. It focuses more on rehabilitation than punishment. It aims to prepare prisoners for life after incarceration by offering a lot of programs. They also try their best to secure a job for the prison before they get released.

The prisoners in Norway prisons do not live in small and bad cells. The cells where they live look like regular bedrooms. In a cell, there is usually a bed, flat-screen TV, desk, mini-fridge, toilet with shower, and a window that allows them to see the view. Not only that, these prisoners are also given a living room and a kitchen where they can share with the other prisoners. While they have to spend twelve hours of their time in their cells, they are also allowed or more like encouraged to spend their time outside after that. In addition to these places, there are also some other places where they can enjoy their time or sharpen their skills, including a music studio, a library, a gym, a chapel, and so on.

Prisoners and Foods

As informed before, prisoners are given a shared common area with a kitchen in it. A number of things can be found in the kitchen, including porcelain plates, a dining table, stoves, and stainless-steel silverware like spoons, forks, and even knives and scissors. With these things, prisoners in Norway prisons make their own food, according to several sources such as The Yew York Times, a series called The Norden – Nordic Prisons, and so on. It is actually not surprising knowing prisons in this country focus on the principles of restorative justice and rehabilitation rather than punishment and do not have strict policies. Besides, the ones with low security grade prisons have a normal life with education, a job, and hobbies. That’s why they usually make their own food if they want to.

It is stated that every month, the prisoners are given stipend if they want to buy and cook their own food. With the money, they can buy ingredients at its grocery shop. Here is the photo how a prison store looks like at Agder Prison:

Norway Prison Food Look Like 1

Once again, the prisoners usually can make their own food. However, some of them often share food and rotate on who cooks for the group. In some groups, there is the one guy who is good at cooking that is selected as the chef while the other members are usually in charge of buying the ingredients. Those who are good at cooking usually participate in the prison’s professional-grade kitchen classroom to get cooking certificates. Some of them may work as a chef at prison’s restaurant after that.

A reporter from The New York Times, Jessica Benko, visited one of the Norway prisons, Halden Prison. When in the facility, she was offered a heart-shaped waffle by a prisoner named Omar. Aside from that, the man also offered her brown cheese, a thing that is known to make Norwergians Norwegians. In addition, she was also treated to a few other things, including chocolate mousse, tea, coffee, spicy lasagna, garlic bread, and a salad with sun-dried tomatoes.

Norway Prison Food Look Like 2

At Halden Prison, Jessica also met some other inmates, including Reijo and Yassin. These two can be seen in the photo above. As you can see in the picture, both of them were preparing food at the kitchen area in an apartment in Halden prison. They were preparing to surprise another inmate with a birthday cake named kvaefjord kake. This cake is a favorite confection of sponge cake, custard, and meringue topped with almonds and whipped cream. Norwegians believe this cake is the best cake in the world.

Examples of Norway Prison Food

While it is true that prisoners in Norway prisons can cook their own food, there are foods provided by the prisons, especially for the prisoners who live in high level security prisons. These prisoners usually do not have the freedom to make their own food as they want and they are usually served food instead. For those who are curious about what kind of food served to them, they are pretty average and somewhat healthy like meatballs and potatoes, beef stew, different types of pork meat dishes, and other traditional Norwegian cuisine. These foods are similar to the ones found at retirement homes or other governmental institutions.

There is an image of Norway prison foods shared by a user called @draupnir on imgur. In the image, there are six prison foods that are usually served by a few prisons in Norway. The foods are as follows:

1. Mushroom Sausages

Norway Prison Food Look Like Mushroom Sausages

Mushroom Sausages can be found at Ringerike Prison. The food consists of sausages, vegetables, potatoes, tomato, beans, and brown sauce. The sausages used here have a spongy texture and unclear contents. The vegetables used here are frozen vegetables with no taste. As for the potato, it is cooked with skin.

2. Normal Lapskaus

Norway Prison Food Look Like Normal Lapskaus

Just like Mushroom Sausages, Normal Lapskaus is also prepared by Ringerike Prison. This one looks like a moderately good tew. It is an intermediate type of meat. While it misses a little taste of pepper and a sprinkling of parsley, it tastes better compared to other dishes.

3. Dry Meat, Bad Rice

Norway Prison Food Look Like Dry Meat, Bad Rice

Halden Prison normally serves Dry Meat, Bad Rice. It is a chicken soup with rice. According to those who have tasted this food, the rice tastes old because it seems like it has been stored for a long time. The meat is tough and dry because it is not the first grade one or is known as the block meat. As for the sauce, it is sticky.

4. Little Delicate

Norway Prison Food Look Like Little Delicate

Aside from Dry Meat, Bad Rice angrite, Little Delicate is also served by Halden Prison. Contrary to its name, the food is not delicate. It consists of fish and potatoes. The sauce tastes fresh due to the fish, which has cooked in, and the paprika. It tastes better than it looks.

5. Chick Sauce, Good Rice

Norway Prison Food Look Like Chick Sauce, Good Rice

Chick Sauce, Good Rice, which is also more known as Hønsefrikassé, is offered by North West Fold Prison Department. The rice and carrots in this food are well-cooked. The sauce is okay. It is spicy and salty, great especially for those who are into spicy things. However, it is said that it is too chewy and its consistency is similar to lime. As for the meat, it is also fine, even though it is a bit dry.

6. Fibrous Meat

Norway Prison Food Look Like Fibrous Meat

Fibrous Meat is also available at the North West Fold Prison Department. This food is made of neck chops, sauerkraut, potatoes, brown sauce, and cranberry jam. The sauerkraut used here is the ready-made one. Some people think the meat is tender, while some others say that it is far too dry and stringy and looks like it has been stored in a warming cabinet for too long. The potatoes taste little and have a watery consistency. As for the brown sauce, it does not taste good.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, food served in Norway prisons looks like the average Norwegian food. The most common ones served to the prisoners include meatballs and potatoes, lapskaus or beef stew, and different types of pork meat dishes. However, some prisoners, especially the ones that are placed at low security prisons, are allowed to make their own food, making it possible for them to eat something new and something they prefer and to be creative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *