Many Norwegian traditions are distinctly regional. Even recipes are variable by region to go along with dialects that can be different by town separated by just 50 kilometers. This tradition, that both Marius and I were new to trying, was from a town just about an hour and a half east of Bergen called Voss....smalahove, or half of a sheep's head that is cooked in a broth for several hours. Smalahove comes from two Norwegian words: smale = sheep, and hove = head. It is served before Christmas with potatoes, mashed rutabaga, and red cabbage.
Many of my friends were telling me that the cheek is supposed to be the best part, and others were saying that they wouldn't dare eat it. So I can now say that I have done something that many other Norwegians haven't dared try. I actually really enjoyed it! It had a texture like corned beef and had a very nice flavor. Marius went as far as to try the tongue, and thought that eating the eye was a normal thing, so tried that as well...but his reactions to both were NOT good haha!
[Here we go...deep breath]
[Preparing for his 'Bear Grylls' moment with the eyeball]
[It looks MUCH worse than it tasted, I promise]