Tekst by Geir Yeh Fotland, [email protected] Illustration by Yilin Tsai.
Norwegian heart-shaped waffles are widely available and universally celebrated in Norway and by Norwegian Church Abroad as one of the most Norwegian things ever, but they do not actually originate from Norway. Waffle irons were used in middle Europe as early as the 14th century. American and Belgian waffle irons are sold in Taiwan, the waffles are rectangular and a little thicker than the Norwegian ones, often served with syrup. Norwegian waffles are typically thin and soft with a light vanilla aroma and served with brown goat cheese, jam or sour cream. Norwegian waffles are eaten by hand like a taco.
Yilin Tsai (30) from Chiayi county, Taiwan, worked in the theater and movie industry doing acting, casting and costume. During a work trip in Oslo, she met her becoming boyfriend and moved to Oslo in July last year. He took her to a cafè at Grünerløkka in Oslo. There she fell in love with the combination of brown cheese, sour cream and jam on Norwegian waffles. On Sunday she wants to let people in Taiwan have the same experience.
– I am curious and eager, she says, – to explore more about Norway, learning the language and culture. I got a chance to join the theatre environment in Norway by joining “Teater Exit”, a theater group for people from multicultural background who share a desire to create performing arts. In June we played AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE about power struggles, corruption, freedom of the press. It is highly topical, more than 140 years after it was written by the world famous Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen. I did both the costume and acting, playing the editor of the newspaper. (https://www.facebook.com/events/558507063118911/?ref=newsfeed)
In Norway I also love making and exploring different foods. I may gather some friends form Norway and Taiwan to introduce traditional Taiwanese food, Yilin Tsai tells. –I love to share my life in Norway through video, photos and articles. My YouTube channel “Kos Kos Norge” has different themes, including language, food, culture differences and outdoor activities. The channel lets Taiwanese learn about Norwegian culture and promotes Taiwan for Norwegians, Yilin Tsai adds.
Her Norwegian partner arrived Taiwan this Thursday afternoon for his first visit, met by the windy typhoon Khanun. Will he fall in love with Taiwan?
– On Sunday August 6th we will both bring classic Norwegian waffles to the pop-up event in Taipei to introduce this tasty dish to those who show up. All handmade and all from Norway. These heart-shaped delights are more than just a scrumptious snack; they’re a symbol of “kos” (= togetherness), and Norwegian culture at its finest.