In the foreground is a container of melted butter to pour on the freshly made rommegrot served each year at the Norwegian Food Stand. How much can you eat?
In the foreground is a container of melted butter to pour on the freshly made rommegrot served each year at the Norwegian Food Stand. How much can you eat?
"This is just for fun," Sue Barker said. "I don't know if they have it any other place or not."

As organizer for this year's Syttende Mai eating contest, Barker said a new dish was in order for this year.

"We wanted to change it up and get something different. We didn't want to just do the same thing."

Rommegrot (rough English translation: romme for "sour cream" and grot for "porridge") is a traditional Norwegian dish. It was often prepared for special occasions and on holidays. Although recipes differed by region, the primary ingredients are usually cream, flour, butter and salt.

"It's kind of like a sweet pudding," Barker said. "It's thick, and it's good topped with cinnamon."

This year, the Syttende Mai committee will be hosting the event themselves. It won't be a sanctioned eating contest like last year's Lutefisk competition.

"Last year was the first time we had an eating contest," Barker said. "The community seemed to enjoy it, because there were a lot of people in attendance."

There will be three categories (ages 5-10, 11-17 and 18-up) with up to 10 registrants per class. The venue is the Fest Building. In the 5-10 age group, cash prizes are $30, $20 and $10 for first, second and third. The 11-17 age group will earn prizes of $50, $30 and $15. In the 18-up class, prizes are $60, $40 and $20.

Eating a lot of a dish that has been described as "a cross between a gluey custard and oatmeal" might be a challenge.

Since the traditional recipe is quite rich, the serving size was generally small. According to historians, besides being a holiday treat, the dish was often served at weddings and festivals and brought to new mothers by visitors.

The recipe dates back hundreds of years.