Yes, I do believe that this could be my most favorite food find of 2010. What is it? Ever heard of lefsa (also spelled lefse)? I want to scream it from the rooftops: Lefsa!!!!
When we were on our way out of Norway headed back to the ferry, Alan said that he'd be pulling over at some point for gas. Great, I said, I still have a chance to see if there are any interesting food finds at the mini-mart. I ignored Alan as he rolled his eyes. You see, it was my plan to make it into a full fledged Norwegian supermarket somewhere along the trip, but the plan never materialized. I was worried that I'd leave the country without any exciting discoveries.
My hopes were far from high on finding anything in a gas station convenience store, but I had a great surprise in store for me.
Lefsa has got to be one of the most versatile and innovative food items ever. Big, square and flat like a crakcer--it looks very similar to matzoh--it's a dual purpose food. As is, it's a crunchy cracker. Like matzoh, it's bland, but the point is not to eat Lefsa by its lonesome. And here is the exciting part, when you run it under the faucet--just as you might rinse a plate--and let it sit for 20 minutes, it becomes soft and, are you ready for this?, TURNS INTO BREAD. How cool is that? I don't know of anything else like it.
Lefsa can be stuffed and rolled up with hummus, cheese, meats, or--as the Norwegians do--with hotdogs. I haven't tried a sweet version yet, but Norwegians also like lefsa with butter and sugar inside. However, I have used it to make a PBJ, and it was awesome. Wrapped around fillings either salty or sweet, lefsa doesn't disappoint. In the photo below is a wrap I made with my homemade hummus, tomatoes, kalamata olives, and a drizzling of olive oil. And a handful of chickpeas on top for good measure.
My greatest regret is that I bought only one box. For some reason that I can't quite get my head around, I've never seen lefsa in Denmark. Do Danes have something against it, or is it that Norwegians are keen on keeping this prized item for themselves? Who knows. But you better believe that I'll be looking to make an online order.
See if you can get your hands on some. With summer right around the corner, lefsa would be a great camping or picnic staple.
Finally, please forgive my hyperbole, including all caps and exclamation marks. I couldn't help myself.