Baltzersen’s may be a young establishment in itself, however its legacy is already centurial. Paul’s grandmother enthused him with a passion for Scandinavian cooking and culture, and a childhood of memories and Sunday brunches has informed what we know today as Baltzersen’s.
Great-grandma Ingeborg’s recipe book – the story so far:
Members of the Baltzersen family make excellent cooks, this much we know. Dating back to 1917, Paul’s great-grandmother Ingeborg’s recipe book is a prized heirloom containing several hundred hand-written recipes with copious personal notations, tips and instructions, as well as cut-outs from newspapers and recipe journals spanning several decades.
Great-grandma Ingeborg’s recipe book
Of course, all these recipes are in Norwegian; the heirloom remained a symbolic possession, until recently. Paul has expanded the team this summer, hiring two marketing assistants. One of them, Rob, happens to have to grown up in Norway, and knows the language fluently.
Paul brought the esteemed recipe book into the office, and Rob had a look. Sure enough, not only did the pages reveal countless intelligible recipes; Rob began laughing and wowing at the lists of classic dishes he hadn’t seen the name of, let alone tasted, for several years.
“From The Stavanger Women’s Home Economics School”
There seemed to be only one natural course of action: Baltzersen’s recipes had to make it into Baltzersen’s café. Rob would no longer suffice as a simple marketing assistant; his linguistic skills were in more demand now than ever. Once satisfied to translate cute colloquialisms, he now attempts meticulous reconstructions of any range of Baltzersen’s recipes.
Don’t think that speaking fluent Norwegian makes the task an easy one. The pages are faded, recipes are written in an elegant yet graphically inarticulate long-hand, not helped by a highly ‘personalised’ system of abbreviations. Most of the recipes use the Danish-Norwegian spelling and grammar prominent in Norway up until the later half of the 20th century: ruthless deciphering is required. Not to mention some of the strangest Google-searches we’ve encountered so far: mostly for odd spellings, names and products specific to the Norwegian market of the time.
Hundreds of recipes, thoroughly indexed
Despite this, Rob is confident he can churn out a few adequate translations a week. We intend to use this resource to its full advantage, and with the help of our dedicated chefs, we’ll introduce at least one new recipe a week, as well as anything else that tickles our interest.
The first two recipes we are releasing today on 8th August 2014. They are both biscuit recipes, so simple but tasty nonetheless.