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Scandinavian Rullepolse – Or is it Ribberull?

Life as I know it will never be the same again. There are moments in one’s life when the very fabric of one’s being rips apart, leaving a shell of what it once was. Well, this may not be one of those moments, but I’ve recently learned that an iconic tradition in our family is not what we thought it was.

Growing up in a Scandinavian home, there are unique Christmas traditions in our culture. Many of the ones we keep revolve around the food we prepare during the Christmas season. One of those delicacies is what we call rullepolsa. It is a rolled plate of lamb and pork that we serve as cold cuts.

Thanks to the internet, we have learned that what we have been calling rullepolsa is actually a similar Danish dish with beef and pork. The Norwegians have their own version called ribberull, using lamb instead of beef. Thank you for destroying a Soberg family tradition with a few keys and mouse clicks. I will let YOU tell my 88 year old mother that she has been misleading us by wrongly calling him a rullepolsa all these years.

In our family, Christmas Eve is our main celebration. We eat our traditional Scandinavian food and open our gifts. Then my mom makes our SECOND round of food, which we call our second dinner. This one consists of all the Christmas cookies you’ve been baking for weeks, their famous cardamom bread, pickled pork feet, flatbread, and of course the ribberull.

No one is hungry as we are still digesting the dinner we ate a couple of hours earlier. That doesn’t matter, it’s tradition. I skip the cookies, leaving the little space in my stomach reserved for the ribberull. This consists of the initial ribberull sandwich I make and at least one pork leg. Then it’s another piece of ribberull on a piece of mommy’s flatbread. Ok, maybe two. I immediately pay for this on a bloated stomach, but heck, it’s tradition!

Speaking of tradition, I’ve been calling it ribberull in this article. Regardless of what Wikipedia says, for me it is and always will be a rule. Shhh … don’t tell mom.

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