Monday, October 20, 2008

It's Lutefisk Time Again!

As we near the end of October many people are preparing for the coming holiday season. For some that means digging out their various decorations for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For others, it sifting through their cookbooks looking for the perfect traditional holiday meal. For some it's turkey while others prefer ham. But, for a select group of Americans, it's the more Nordic-centric choice of lutefisk. TYup, it's that time of year again when Nordic-American families break out the cod, slather it in butter and dish it up for anyone and everyone who dares to try (or enjoy) the stuff.

I'll never forget the first time my grandfather, whose parents had emigrated from Norway in the early 1900's, got me to try lutefisk. It was Thanksgiving of 1982 and I was a 5 year-old who, until that time, had been raised on typical midwestern food, like hotdishes, jello and tater-tots. My grandfather called me to the head of the table and placed me on his lap. He told me he had something new to try and proceeded to shove a forkfull of lutefisk into my mouth! At the time I wasn't sure what to make of it other than it reminded me of a buttery, hot jello.

Now, I know many of you may comment and tell me that it wasn't prepared correctly and that lutefisk can be a real delicacy, but to a five-year-old it was not a very pleasant experience (to say the least). In the years since then I have tried lutefisk again and again, but have never been able to acquire a taste for it and thus am not a fan of the dish.

That being said, I also think that lutefisk is a too oft maligned dish. Yes, it has an odd texture. Yes, its flavor is sometimes hard to describe. And yes, its presentation on a plate often makes a bad impression. But even with all that, I think many folks are too hard on this traditional Nordic dish.

To prove my point, that there are much stranger and far less appetizing dishes out there, tomorrow's blog will highlight some of the Nordic world's strangest and, in some cases, most dangerous dishes.

In the meantime, if you are hankering for a hunk of lutefisk, be sure to check out the Sons of Norway Events Calendar to see if there's a lutefisk dinner being served in your area.

Have a great day and check back tomorrow to learn about why lutefisk may not be so bad after all (comparatively).


MJ said...

MMMMMMMM Yummy! I can't wait!

Sons of Norway said...

You say that now, but wait until you see what we have in store for today.

MJ said...

Can't wait... :)