Like most embassies around the world, Norway’s usually offer some bubbly before diplomatic dinners or other festive occasions. Now they’ve come under political pressure back home to serve Norwegian alcoholic cider instead of French champagne or other sparkling wine that can be bought where embassies are located.
Sveinung Stensland, a Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party that’s now in opposition, submitted an official query to Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt of the Labour Party, asking whether she would contribute towards promoting Norwegian sparkling cider internationally by serving it at Norwegian embassies.
She replied on Friday, just before flying off to New York to lead the UN Security Council and host a few “informal” diplomatic gatherings: “The foreign service works continually to promote Norwegian business interests all over the world,” Huitfeldt wrote, noting that the embassies are encouraged to use Norwegian products when its “natural and possible.”
“The ministry is aware that Norwegian cider is known for good quality, and that several producers want to tap the international market,” Huitfeldt continued. She added that a meeting between the ministry and representatives of the cider business had already been set up “to exchange thoughts and ideas about how we can best work together on this.”
Norwegian cider remains hard to find abroad, though, and expensive to ship. It was unclear whether Huitfeldt had any with her when she headed for New York.