Archive for January 18th, 2008

Perceptions of Norwegians vol IV

The Washington Post has a recipe they claim is Norwegian, Bacon-Wrapped Broiled Salmon.

Cookbook author James Villas notes that this dish is popular in Norway, made with a leaner Danish back bacon. But he recommends a streakier bacon to baste the fish while it’s under the broiler. Norwegians often accompany bacon-wrapped salmon with dilled lentils or boiled parsleyed potatoes.

This is pure fiction. It looks very good, sure,  but it is not a common dish here. And if you want Danish bacon in Norway, you have to go to Denmark to get it, as there are prohibitive tariffs on meat.

I’d be very surprised to be served lentils, with or without dill, with fish in Norway. Boiled potatoes, yes, lentils, no.

I assume Mr. Villas has been served a dish like this one in a Norwegian restaurant. Once. But, as we say in Norway, one swallow does not make a summer!

On the other hand, I have to give credit to the fish/beer pairing, which you rarely find in cookery columns. And I will probably try the recipe the next time I cook salmon. So it may become  popular, in due time!

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The official press release:

Scottish & Newcastle plc (“S&N” or the “Company”) and Carlsberg A/S (“Carlsberg”) and Heineken N.V. (“Heineken”) (together the “Consortium”), confirm that they have entered into discussions in relation to a possible recommended offer for S&N at 800 pence per share. The Consortium’s proposal is subject to certain pre-conditions, including satisfactory completion of limited due diligence. The parties have approached the Panel to request a short extension to the Put up or Shut up deadline to 12 noon on 24 January 2008, to enable the Consortium to complete its due diligence.

There are high stakes here, but with the Russian market the only one expanding in Europe, it may be worth it for Carlsberg. They are the ones putting up the last 20 p per share in addition to the last offer. I’m not sure that the deal is as rosy for Heineken.

Some additional reporting in the Guardian:

Under the proposed takeover, Carlsberg would raise its interest in BBH from 50% to 100% as well as taking on S&N’s underperforming French business and its operations in Greece and China. The Danish brewer is believed to be funding 55-65% of the proposed bid.

Heineken, the junior bid partner, is to take control of S&N’s operations in Ireland, Portugal, Finland and Belgium as well as its market-leading operation in the UK.

UK beer sales have been steadily slipping for more than a decade and the rate of decline has steepened in the past three years, with the introduction last July of a nationwide ban on smoking in public places further hitting beer sales.

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