Rrrrrrroom-a-grout

Who cares what it is or how you make it? All that really matters is that rommegrot is a tasty treat!

Each year at Hstfest volunteers from First Lutheran Church prepare and serve the popular Norwegian dish at a booth in Reykjavik Hall. Customers purchase rommegrot by the pint or single serving. Butter, cinnamon and sugar are a must for single servings.

“I would say it is more like a pudding, a dessert,” said Tarryll Shomento, a volunteer who was serving rommegrot earlier this week.

The main ingredients to rommegrot seem simple enough – cream, flour and sugar. However, it is a recipe that requires some special attention.

“Keep stirring, stirring, stirring until it starts to be pudding-like,” said Shomento while gesturing toward fellow volunteers, who were doing their best to keep large cookers of the mixture on the move.

“We made it at the church last week; 54 five-gallon buckets were made in the kitchen at First Lutheran Church,” said Brenda Morelli, volunteer. “Then it’s put in a cooler, kept at a certain temperature and checked three times a day. At set-up time we hauled it out here by the pail.”

From the pails the rommegrot is spooned into warmers where the stirring begins, until the mixture is warmed up and smooth in appearance.

“They have to really stir. Then we move it to another warmer from where we actually put it in a cup and serve it to the customer with butter and cinnamon and sugar.”

Most people, regardless of ethnic background, discover that rommegrot, often pronounced room-a-grout, is very appealing to the taste buds. Even those who are somewhat hesitant about giving rommegrot a taste test usually become quick converts to the Norwegian pleasure.

“There’s lots of people who are trying it for the first time,” said Morelli. “Some eat it as a nostalgia thing.”

Historically, the Norwegian sour cream porridge is said to have been a perfect complement to meals of dried meat.