The county of Trøndelag is now widely accepted as the food capital of Norway and is often namedropped by famous international chefs for the quality of its raw materials. Local producers have been at the heart of this revolution and the area has recently been declared the European Region of Gastronomy for 2022.
The Collector took a tour to Inderøy, a lush area squeezed between three fjords in the north of the state, to visit one of the hotel's suppliers, with whom have collaborated to create a truly unique, signature beverage.
Riding the wave of success after his cheese collaboration with Gangstad, Britannia Sous Chef Øivind Tiller travelled down the valley in Inderøy to team up with Surf Kombucha. Britannia has since developed and launched its own kombucha made with sea buckthorn, carrot and ginger.
Kombucha is a sparkling, fermented tea with health-promoting benefits. Originally it is an ancient traditional drink from China, where it has been made for over 2,000 years. Made from tea, sugar and a starter culture of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is not very sweet and is a healthy alternative to soft drinks and energy drinks.
Surf Kombucha was started by nutrition therapist Maren Aasen, and Luca Guichard, a professional surfer for ten years, hence the name. Maren met Luca on a surfing holiday in Portugal. On a vacation together to USA, they experienced how incredibly popular kombucha had become and quickly realised that this was something they wanted to take home to Norway and develop for themselves.
The growing popularity of kombucha and the success of Surf Kombucha, made the Inderøy-based brewers a logical collaborator for Øivind Tiller, who is always looking for ways to take his breakfasts in Palmehaven to the next level. Furthermore, Maren is the daughter of Astrid Aasen, with whom he was already collaborating with at Gangstad!
Øivind was already a fan of Surf Kombucha’s products when he contacted the young entrepreneurs to inquire about creating a Britannia kombucha and, by the spring of 2019, they were already testing flavour combinations. Øivind was adamant that he wanted to use sea buckthorn, which is a sour and nutritious berry found growing along the coast of Trøndelag. Sea buckthorn, carrot and ginger eventually became the winning combination.
“Sea buckthorn has freshness and acidity; the carrot is a little sweet and the ginger is quite strong and gives a little punch,” explains Øivind Tiller, holding up a bottle of the effervescent orange beverage. “Sea Buckthorn is quite sour when you eat only the berry, but when you refine it and use it as an ingredient it tastes very good and it’s also rich in vitamins. It gives a very nice colour together with the carrot.”
Maren and Luca are obviously fond of Inderøy, an area which had to use all its charms to persuade the intrepid couple away from the beaches of Portugal. They are proud members of Inderøymat, and recommend touring the highlights of the area by bicycle. With loads of exciting local food makers, producing everything from beer, spirits, cheese, cured meats and bread, to cod liver oil and kombucha, it’s no wonder so many travellers make the trip up from Trondheim.
The recently relaunched Britannia Hotel is one more reason for people to visit Trøndelag and Maren says Surf Kombucha are “super proud to partner with Britannia and make our own kombucha for the hotel. It’s a great establishment that we have experienced as guests a few times since the reopening. We think it’s Norway's best hotel, without a doubt!”
Maren and Luca recommend kayaking in the fjord, and staying in the cool, new, transparent igloo accommodation, called Trones Eye. They also rave about the many beautiful walks in the region, including one to Oftenåsen and suggest checking out the Øyna Cultural Landscape Hotel which has great views.