A somewhat little known fact, at least to me, is that Julia Child lived in Oslo, Norway for a while during the late fifties. This, before the oil-billions had hit, was not much of a gourmet city, and Child apparently had some issues settling in until she started experimenting with Norwegian seafood. Gravlaks would later become a staple recipe of hers, which might explain why so many Americans think the dish is French.
All of this is really neither here nor there, I suppose, but after watching Julie & Julia the other night (and an entertaining movie it is) the idea came to us to make the classic Norwegian dish, rømmegrøt. “Rømme” means sour cream, grøt “porridge.” Hey, it’s good, and simple to cook:
- 5 dl sour cream (should originally be Seterrømme, though I’ve never seen anything exactly like it in the US. Just use the full-fat stuff.)
- 2 dl sifted flour
- 5 dl milk
- Salt to taste
Put sour cream to a boil for about 5 minutes on medium heat. It will thin out significantly.
Add 1 dl flour and stir until smooth.
Simmer. You are supposed to simmer until a layer of butter start forming on top, but I haven’t been able to do that, likely because of the type of sour cream I used. Instead, let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. At this point it will become fairly pasty.
Stir in rest of the flour.
Slowly stir in the milk.
Simmer for five minutes, and stir in a bit of salt to taste.
Serve with cinnamon and sugar on top. If you actually get some butter out of the thing, the spoon that into a container when it appears, and add it to the dish when serving.
Now, the second reason we decided to undertake the rømmegrøt was the following video from a Norwegian TV show called Alt for Norge—All for Norway. In it, Americans with Norwegian heritage—you know the type, the ones that will call themselves Norwegians—who have never visited Norway compete to be the most Norwegian of all. In other words, it’s a freakshow.
In the video the “Norwegians” get a chance to try rømmegrøt, and… Well… I suppose the producers of the show made sure to pick out a few contestants that were raised on McDonald’s. Two points to anyone who can point out the Seattle competitor.