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挪威午餐餐包的艺术:简单、方便而刻板

更新时间:2019/2/13 17:28:44 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Norwegian art of the packed lunch
挪威午餐餐包的艺术:简单、方便而刻板

Every day, across Norway, something strange happens. It starts at about 11:30, and the first sign is the rustling of paper at the bottoms of rucksacks and handbags. Shortly thereafter, people begin fishing out square packages, neatly wrapped in baking parchment. Some have cute messages like ‘ha’ en god dag!’ – ‘have a good day!’ – scrawled on top. Others are tied up with string.

在挪威,每天都有奇怪的事情发生。从十一点半左右开始,背包和手提包底部会发出包装纸的沙沙声,随后人们开始拿出包装好的方形餐包。餐包整整齐齐地用烘焙纸包裹起来,有的还会在上面潦草地写下各种可爱的留言,比如“过得愉快!”(“ha' en god dag!”),也有些是用绳子捆扎的。

The phenomenon can be witnessed everywhere – in offices and schools, on public transport, out hiking near icy fjords. If there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that all will contain the same humble open sandwich. And, if it’s been made correctly, it will be dry, flavourless and predominantly beige in colour.

在公司、校园和公交车上,或是在冰封的海湾附近旅行时,随处都能目睹这一现象。如果有一点可以肯定的话,那就是所有餐包中的三明治都是一样的。如果按正确的方法制作,三明治是干的,无味,以淡棕色为主。

“In Norway, you’re not supposed to look forward to your lunch,” says Ronald Sagatun, who works in advertising and hosts a YouTube channel about Norwegian culture. “It’s kind of a strict thing. It’s easy to make, easy to carry around, easy to eat, but it should be a disappointment.”

萨加顿(Ronald Sagatun)从事广告工作,在视频网站YouTube上主持一个关于挪威文化的频道。他说,“在挪威,人们不应该对午餐抱太大期望,这件事有点刻板。餐包制作简单,便于携带,易于食用,但它令人失望。”

While British office workers rush around each lunchtime, queueing at cafés, bankrupting ourselves on superfood salads and deli-style sandwiches or, worse, skipping the meal altogether, Norwegians have it all organised. Each morning, going back decades, they diligently prepare a packed lunch.

在英国,上班族会在午餐时间,匆忙地赶往不同的地方,或去咖啡馆排队,或在超级食物色拉和熟食风味的三明治前大吃特吃,或者更糟的是,有人干脆不吃午饭。挪威人却早把餐包准备妥当,数十年来,人们都坚持不懈,每天早晨准备一份包好的午餐。

A slice of tradition

餐包是传统习俗的一部分

The ‘matpakke’, pronounced ‘maadpukke’, with a satisfying emphasis on the ‘e’, consists of a stack of three or four thin slices of wholemeal bread, with a meaty, fishy or cheesy layer on top of each (this is the word’s popular meaning, though technically it can be used to describe any food which is prepared to be eaten outside of the home).

“自带餐包”(matpakke)一词读作“maadpukke”,元音“e”的重读音,是重点的强调。餐包是由三片或四片切薄的全麦面包堆叠而成,将火腿片、鱼片或奶酪片摆在各层面包上(这是餐包的通俗含义,尽管严格来说,该词可用来描述准备要带出家门享用的任何食物)。

Today the matpakke is much more than just an insipid open sandwich; it’s a national institution, and an understated source of cultural pride.

如今,餐包不仅仅是清淡的单层三明治;它表达着一种国家的生活方式,也是一种低调的文化自豪感。

Most children in Norway take one to school and many adults continue the habit for their entire working lives. According to retiree Helge Vidar Holm, who studies French literature at the University of Bergen and has recently retired, the matpakke is the first aspect of Norwegian culture that foreign students are taught when they arrive. “Quite a few, the first word they learn, before thank you and so on, they’ll learn to say ‘matpakke’,” he says.

在挪威,大多数孩子上学时带餐包,很多成年人在其整个职业生涯中,也一直保持着这种习惯。霍尔姆(Helge Vidar Holm)在卑尔根大学研究法国文学,最近退休了,据他说,留学生到这里来,老师向他们传授挪威文化时,第一讲便是“餐包”文化。他说,“不少人在掌握谢谢等词语前,最先学会说的词是餐包。”

The tradition originated in the 1930s with the Oslo Breakfast. Back then, Norway was poor and this government programme aimed to provide all school children with a free meal each day. It was an unmitigated success, and later copied around the globe. Eventually parents took over the responsibility and gradually it evolved into the matpakke – now not just for children, but widely eaten by adults, whether they’re doctors, students or construction workers.

这个传统始于上世纪30年代的奥斯陆早餐。当时,挪威的经济贫困乏力,政府颁布这一项目,旨在为所有在校儿童每日提供一份免费餐。这是不折不扣的功绩,后来受到世界各地的效仿。最终,家长接管了此事,并逐渐演变为餐包,如今不仅是为孩子而准备,成年人也吃餐包,不论是医生、学生还是建筑工人。

“Like most Norwegians, I eat my matpakke every day when I work,” says Holm. “That’s the Norwegian way and it’s most peculiar, because it’s not the same in Sweden or Denmark, Iceland or Finland. It’s a very Norwegian tradition.”

霍尔姆说,“像大多数挪威人一样,我上班时每天吃餐包。这是挪威人的生活主式,是最特别的,因为瑞典、丹麦、冰岛或芬兰都不这样。这也是挪威的传统。”

Unlocking productivity

启动生产力

Norway is a rich country with one of the world’s highest rates of GDP per capita. This is partly due to oil reserves in the North Sea, but it’s also to do with the nation’s productivity.

挪威是一个富裕的国家,拥有世界上最高的人均GDP。这与北海的石油储量有关,也与国家的生产力有关。

According to a report by the business marketplace Expert Market, in the year from 2016, the nation was the most productive in Northern Europe. Meanwhile, in the UK, productivity output per hour worked still hasn’t recovered from the 2008 economic collapse; the same report revealed that while productivity in Norway grew by 9%, in Britain it fell by a further by 7%.

根据商业资源公司“专家市场网站”(Expert Market)发布的报告,自2016年以来,挪威的生产力北欧第一。与此同时,英国单位时间生产总值依然没有从2008年的经济崩溃中恢复过来;同一份报告显示,挪威的生产力增长了9%,而英国的生产力下滑了7%。

Could other countries learn a thing or two from the steadfast, simple culture of the matpakke?

挪威坚定地履行餐包文化,简单易行,其他国家能否从中学到一些东西呢?

One leading benefit of the tradition is that is makes for more efficient breaks. In Norway, employees are given just 30 minutes for lunch, regardless of whom they work for. Although the regulation might sound strict, it’s necessary; the nation has among the shortest working hours in the world, at just 38.5 hours a week on average – and many workers go home at three in the afternoon.

餐包这个传统的好处是,它会带来更有效的休息。在挪威,不论雇员为谁工作,他们的午餐时间只有30分钟。虽然该条例听上去很苛刻,但这是非常必要的;挪威人每周工作时间是世界上最短的,平均每周38.5小时,很多职员下午3点就下班了。

“If you have a longer break, you will have longer hours,” says Holm. “And especially because we are a very [geographically] long country, we have long polar nights, so it’s good to finish the day before the sun goes down and it gets dark.”

霍尔姆说,“如果休息得越久,工作时间则越长。尤其因为挪威是一个海岸线非常长的国家,有漫长的极夜,因此适合在太阳落山天黑之前完成工作。”

Things are very different in the UK. In addition to a troublingly sluggish workforce, the nation also has the longest working week in Europe, at around 42.3 hours. Assuming an eight-hour working day, this is equivalent to more than three weeks of extra work every year when compared to Norway.

英国的情况截然不同。缓慢的劳动力问题令人烦恼。英国也是欧洲每周工作时间最长的国家,大约42.3小时。假设每天8小时工作时间,与挪威相比就相当于每年多工作3周。

“I don’t think we’re more clever, but we have the idea that when you go to work, you work. We don’t spend very much time chatting and talking with colleagues, eating and so on. I do much more of that when I’m abroad,” says Holm.

霍尔姆说,“我不觉得我们更聪明,但我们知道去上班就是去工作。我们不会花太多工夫和同事谈天说地,吃顿午餐等等。我到国外去时,这些事却做得很多。”

The matpakke is crucial because it means workers can use the entirety of their breaks to relax. “It’s very easy, you don’t lose any time making it, and then within 10 minutes you can scroll your phone or talk to your colleagues, and so on,” says Sagatun. “It’s more of a practical take on food. It’s really like ‘OK, no wasting time!’.”

餐包至关重要,因为这意味着职员有完整的时间用来休息。萨加顿说,“餐包非常简单,不会浪费任何时间,不出10分钟,你就可以刷屏或与同事交谈等等。”“它更像是对食物的一种实用的诠释。这就像‘好吧,别浪费时间了!’”

According to Mira Rutter, a productivity coach based in London, this efficiency is something we should all be aiming for. “Before I started running my own business, I used to work in investment and wealth management, and I would see people constantly waiting and waiting in queues at lunch. Then they’d eat at their desks, which is really not healthy,” she says. “I’m a big advocate of more mindful eating. Allowing your eyes to rest. Allowing yourself to walk around. Having a conscious break is good practice, it translates into being more effective in the afternoon.”

在伦敦工作的罗特(Mira Rutter)是企业生产力研究指导,他认为,我们大家都应该以高效益为目标。他说,“在着手创办自己的公司之前,我从事的是投资与财富管理的工作。每到午餐时间,我总能看到人们在排队等候,然后他们就在办公桌前用餐,这么做很不健康。我倡导合理科学用餐,利用午餐时间也让眼睛休息一下,到处走走。有意识的休息是一种好的习惯,这会让下午的工作更为高效。”

Hardly wholesome

不益于健康

Although the matpakke helps with time expedience, it doesn’t perform quite so well with nutrition. Despite its roots in improving the diets of Norwegian children, the modern version is hardly the model of a wholesome lunch.

尽管餐包可以提高时间效益,但在营养方面不太理想。虽然初衷是为了改善挪威儿童的饮食,但现代的餐包称不上是健康午餐的榜样。

First, the base must consist of boring brown bread; custom dictates that only the highly processed supermarket kind will do. The most typical filling is sliced cheese, especially a brown, sweaty type made from cream and goat’s milk, known as ‘brunost’. It has an unusually low melting point, so it perspires at room temperature – and it’s also highly flammable (the cheese made global headlines back in 2013 when a lorryload caught fire and burned for five days). Other options include cheese from a tube or liver pâté.

首先,最下面的一层是索然无味的黑麦面包;按传统做法,只有超市里那种深加工的黑麦面包才符合要求。夹心层用的是芝士片,有些选用的是棕色液态凝固型芝士,用奶油和山羊奶制成,称之为“棕奶酪”(brunost)。棕奶酪的熔点极低,在室温下即可融化,棕奶酪也极易燃(2013年,一辆装有棕奶酪的卡车起火,奶酪持续燃烧了五天,该起事故一度成为全球新闻焦点)。夹心层也有其它的搭配,比如罐装奶酪或禽类肝酱。

“The pâté is not like you’d find in other Nordic countries,” says Sagatun. “It’s more bland in a way, and it’s not that fresh. You can stock it for years and years.”

萨加顿说,“其他北欧国家是找不到这种肝酱的。这种肝酱平淡无味,也不新鲜,可以储存好几年。”

Sagatun is keen to point out a few classic blunders, such as piling on the fillings or using more than three or four slices of bread. “It should be just what you need when you are hungry, but not more than that,” he says. It’s also taboo to add salad or slices of delectable cured meat. To avoid stern looks from colleagues, those aiming for a fancier version can try mackerel in tomato sauce or cod roe caviar instead – as long as it’s from a tin or a tube. Sagatun says “this is as exotic as it gets”.

萨加顿热情地指出餐包制做中存在的典型问题,比如夹心层堆得太高,面包片数量超过三片或四片。他说,“餐包应当是人体饥饿时所需的食量,餐包不应该超量。”此外,忌讳添加沙拉或美味的腌肉片。如果人们想吃美味的餐包,又要避免同事们惊诧的目光,可以换成番茄酱或鱼子酱,只要是罐头包装或罐装的就可以。萨加顿说“餐包变得极富异域风味”。

Another hallmark of the matpakke is the addition of small, bread-sized squares of mellomleggspapir – between-layer paper – between each slice of bread; these can be peeled off as you eat your way through the layers. The lunch is usually eaten with a thermos of hot tea or coffee.

餐包的另一个特点是,每片面包之间,都添加有面包片大小的纸张即夹层纸,当你一片片地享用餐包时,夹层纸会剥落下来。吃餐包时,要配热饮或自备在保温瓶中的咖啡。

But regardless of what you put in your matpakke, there are other things that we can learn from Norwegian lunch culture. According to Holm, it’s unusual to skip lunch, and people tend to have it at roughly the same time of day, every day.

但不管餐包里夹什么,我们从挪威的午餐文化中学到了其它东西。霍尔姆表示:不吃午餐的情况是很少见的,人们往往会在同一时间开饭,天天如此。

As it happens, this is the first cardinal rule of improving your work output, regularly advocated by productivity gurus and splashed liberally across the pages of self-help books: have a daily routine.

巧合的是,这一习惯正是提高劳动效益的首要原则,生产率研究大师们积极倡导这一原则,自助类书籍也在首页位置大加宣扬:日常事务要有条理。

There haven’t been many scientific studies into the strategy, but it’s used by highly successful people, from billionaire business magnate Richard Branson to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

目前还没有很多对这一策略的深入研究,但是从商业巨头布兰森(Richard Branson),到《哈利·波特》(Harry Potter)的作者罗琳(J.K. Rowling)等,很多有成就的人都是这么做的。

The idea is to add structure to your day, by blocking out regular time periods for important activities, such as eating and exercise. It’s thought to help people to get more done, while also reducing stress; implementing a daily routine is often used as a treatment for bipolar disorder. In Norway, people take this sensible advice one step further, but eating the same exact food every single day.

目的是把生活安排得更有条理,在固定的时间段里完成重要的事情,比如用餐或健身。日常事务有条理,,会帮助人们做更多的事情,同时也能减轻压力,人们常采用这种方法治疗狂躁症。在挪威,人们接受这种合理的安排,但又有所发展,每天吃同样的食物。

To Sagutan’s amazement, though his office serves free hot lunches every day and has its own Italian chef, his colleagues often bring in their own matpakke instead. “Or sometimes let’s say we have pasta for lunch, well, then the Norwegians in the queue will start slicing up bread,” he says. “They might put pasta on top, as if it was a matpakke. They say: ‘No, no, no, I don’t feel that it’s a lunch if we don’t have the slice of bread’.”

让萨加顿吃惊的是,尽管他们办公室里每天中午提供免费的午餐,而且有自己的意大利厨师,但他的同事经常会自带面包。他说,“有时候我们中午吃意大利面,然而排队的挪威人开始切面包片,他们会在面包片上放意大利面做成餐包,像是自带的餐包。他们说:‘不行,不行,如果我们不吃一片面包的话,就不能算是吃午餐’。”

Choice meal

优质餐食

Finally, the matpakke could help workers to avoid decision fatigue. This might sound like a bit of a stretch, but there’s mounting evidence that each decision we make takes a toll on our mental reserves, eventually leading to worse decisions later in the day. In some professions, such as medicine, this can put lives at risk.

其实,有了餐包,可以帮助职员避免决策疲劳。这听上去有点牵强,但越来越多的证据表明,我们做出的每一个决策都会让我们的心理疲惫,最终导致接下来的一天中,做出更糟糕的决定。在某些行业中,如医生,这可能会让病人遭受危险。

One strategy for overcoming this issue is to avoid unimportant decisions altogether by making the same choices every day. For example, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly always wears the same outfit to work – his iconic grey T-shirt with jeans – for this reason. Another fan is former US President Barack Obama, who wears a blue or grey suit. Having the same lunch formula every day means Norway’s super-productive workforce has one less decision to make.

解决这个问题的办法是,每天做同样的选择,避免为了不重要的事做决定。据报道,社交网站Facebook的首席执行官扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)因为这个原因,上班时总是穿同一套衣服,标志性的灰色T恤搭配牛仔裤。另一位粉丝是前任美国总统奥巴马(Barack Obama)身着蓝色或灰色西装。每天吃同样的午餐意味着挪威的超级生产力,劳动力少做了一个决策。

“Avoiding decision fatigue is certainly important, and I always advise my clients to get around this with forward planning,” says productivity coach Rutter. “Pre-preparing your lunch can really help.”

企业生产力的研究者罗特说,“不用操心午餐吃什么,这当然很重要,我总是建议客户提前做好安排来解决此事。提前准备午餐是很有必要的。”

It’s hard to imagine the rest of the world suddenly developing a taste for caviar-from-a-tube or stale liver pâté. Still, the Norwegian culture of the packed lunch seems to have plenty of upsides. It might be worth giving the world’s most disappointing sandwich a try.

很难想象,世界其他地方的人会突然对罐头包装的鱼子酱和不新鲜的肝酱产生兴趣。不过,自带午餐的挪威文化似乎有很多优点。世界上最乏味的三明治餐包值得试试看。

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