At Christmas time, even those who usually dislike porridges may still enjoy eating rice porridge (right).
It is a part of Christmas dinner and is usually eaten as the last dish at least if there is any room left in anyone's stomach, as the porridge is very filling.
Picture on right: Rice porridge with a pat of butter, sugar and cinnamon (left), rice porridge with bilberry compote (right).
Children usually like rice porridge, especially if there is one blanched almond hidden among it, and whoever finds it on his plate will have "good fortune". This is an old Swedish custom originally a coin was hidden in the porridge, meaning whoever found it would be wed within a year's time.
Porridge has traditionally been a festive dish in the Nordic countries. Before rice was introduced, Christmas porridge was made with barley grains or grits.
Serving porridge at Christmas is still common in Finland and Sweden. It can be served with a pat of butter, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar or with warm or chilled fruit or bilberry compote.
Picture on left: Scandinavian gnomes having Christmas dinner. A bowl of Christmas porridge is being brought to the table, next to a piece of ham decorated with sugar icing and a stack of rye breads.
Especially in Norway and Denmark, porridge is sometimes replaced with sweet rice pudding made with cooked, cold rice mixed with whipped cream, sugar and other seasonings, served with fruit soup or sauce, typically made with cherries.
Picture on right: Finnish Christmas treats from 19th century, including a bowl of rice porridge (Helsinki City Museum - Burgher's House).
You will find recipes for some of the dishes mentioned above in here.
Read more about traditional Finnish Christmas here.