In Denmark on Christmas Eve, it’s a tradition to eat a milk porridge called Risalamande. This dish is popular as a dessert-like treat, sweetened with jam and sugar. Additionally, in Denmark, there’s a little surprise involving Risalamande and almonds that takes place on Christmas Eve. In this article, I will introduce Risalamande, a classic Danish Christmas Eve dish.
What is Risalamande?
Risalamande is a Danish milk porridge. This dish is typically made by cooking rice in milk, sugar, and heavy cream, then adjusting the flavor with jam and cream before chilling and serving.
In Japan, rice pudding might bring to mind rice porridge, and some people might feel resistant to the idea of combining rice and milk.
However, milk-based rice puddings are popular dishes worldwide. Finnish Riisipuuro, Russian Kasha, and Indian Kheer are famous examples. Thus, although the names differ by country, similar traditional dishes to rice pudding exist throughout Europe and Asia.
The main ingredients of Danish Risalamande are rice, milk, sugar, jam, and finely crushed almonds. “Risalamande (riz à l’amande)” means “rice with almonds” in French, and it is said to have originated in France. Risalamande became a staple Christmas Eve dessert in Denmark around the second half of the 19th century.
The Almond Tradition in Risalamande
On Christmas Eve in Denmark, Risalamande is served as a special dessert. In making this dish, there’s a tradition of adding a single whole almond.
The person who finds the almond in their serving receives a small present, usually marzipan, sweets, or a book. This tradition, enjoyed by everyone from children to adults, serves as a surprise to liven up the Christmas Eve dinner in Danish households.
Danish Risalamande is primarily made with rice, milk, sugar, salt, jam or sauce, whipped cream, and finely crushed almonds.
First, cook the rice, milk, sugar, and salt in a pot until it reaches a porridge-like consistency. Once the rice is soft, remove from heat, let it cool slightly, and transfer it to a container to chill in the refrigerator.
Next, add whipped cream and chopped almonds to the chilled porridge. Finally, serve in individual dishes and top with jam or sauce to finish. While this recipe is intended for a chilled dish, it’s also recommended to enjoy it warm.
Risalamande is a traditional Danish milk porridge eaten on Christmas Eve, made by cooking rice in milk. This dish is characterized by its creamy texture, and with blueberry jam or cherry sauce, it offers a delightful new dessert experience.
Moreover, on Christmas Eve, there’s a unique Danish tradition of adding a single almond to the dish, with the person who finds the almond in their serving receiving a small present.