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The Norwegian Kitchen
 
Porridge
 
Insight through digestion, that's one way to learn about a culture.

One of Norway's hidden foods is grøt. What in the world is grøt? Well, it's porridge and it has been as important to the Norwegian people as oil has been to the modern day Norwegian economy. Porridge, the food of fairy tales. You could say it made Norway what it is today. Its what fueled the Vikings.

There is however not just one type of porridge. Like in the peas porridge rhyme there are numerous types, hot and cold.

Grøt, in its many forms is not something a visitor to Norway is likely to come across if staying at a hotel. It is the food of the hearth. Hot
porridge for dinner for a Norwegian family is as common as a hamburger. And for the busy family there is instant and even ready made porridge.

Hot porridges are made from oats, wheat, barley, rye, and rice. They are usually eaten for an evening meal, garnished with butter and sugar. Cold porridges or
puddings are eaten for dessert, served together with a custard sauce or a fruit sauce. Left over porridge is used to make waffles or pancakes and can even be fried.
Until the advent of pizza and taco to Norway it was common to have hot rice porridge for the evening Saturday meal. That together with an orange and a glass of saft- a fruit drink. The left over rice pudding would be mixed with whipping cream and served the next day for dessert.

Special porridges were and are made for
special times. A woman who has just given birth is given a extra rich porridge, Midsummer's Eve it is common to eat a sour cream porridge. At Christmas a almond is placed in the pot of rice porridge and who ever finds it in their bowl wins a prize-usually a marzipan pig. And the lucky person who won the pig might say, to express his satisfaction, that he was in the middle of a butter island. That is to say in the middle of the hot porridge's melting butter.

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