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.