According to the Wall Street Journal, there’s more “butter-smuggling” going on right now in Oslo than Paula Deen in a pair of X-small Spanx.
Some of it’s the weather. A wet summer meant less grazing for cows in 2011. Milk production fell, and butter production followed the decline. And some of it’s the fact that the Norsks have just now grokked the idea of eating an Atkins-ish menu of high fat, high protein, low carb foods.
Fox News reports that, anticipating trouble, merchants added 2.2 million additional pounds of butter to Norwegian grocery shelves in 2011. This still wasn’t enough to meet the need, especially during the current holiday season, where Scandinavian Yule tradition calls for seven types of butter-rich cookies. It’s a miracle that old Kris Kringle can still go airborne with all of that weight in the caboose.
Butter-related crime proliferates today in otherwise progressive Norway. Earlier this month, a man was arrested carrying 200 lbs. of smuggled Swedish butter as he crossed the border into Norway. Profiteers sell butter on the internet, for as much as $32 per pound (400 kroner per kg)– approximately six times the normal shop price.
To feel the butter-love, slick on Paula Deen’s butter-flavored lip balm (yes, it’s available at the Paula Deen store in Atlanta).
Or better yet, in solidarity with our Norwegian brethren, go immediately to Paty’s on Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake. The dish: Paty’s special breakfast: two slabs of thick cinnamon-pecan swirled French toast, eggs, bacon or sausage, presented with a pitcher of syrup and lots and lots of pats of the yellow stuff.
If you’re looking for a more esoteric breakfast or brunch involving, say, fig compote, onion confit, or perhaps spicy buffalo ciabatta, just keep traveling for approximately three minutes in either direction on Riverside Drive from Paty’s patio. This big, easy, diner with ample parking in rear, speaking of Ms. Deen, is located mid-way between Toluca Lake’s two most inventive, far newer eateries: Olive & Thyme, and Sweetsalt Food Shop.
Ditto for the espresso, latte and macchiato, since Paty’s is the locale of the basic cuppa joe. Not surprisingly, Fritz Coleman, the perpetually jaunty unofficial Mayor of Toluca Lake, may often be spotted here.
During inclement weather, Paty’s rolls down the plastic tarps, preserving the cafe atmosphere amidst the rare spatter of LA rain. Indoor seating: a big counter, booths, and a back room with large tables.
The best part: PATY’s serves breakfast all day, every day– for decades now.