With the strong Scandinavian heritage in Minnesota, Lutefisk always becomes a subject at holiday time! Lutefisk dates back to the Vikings so it is quite an old tradition. Lutefisk is dried cod soaked in a lye solution for a few days to rehydrate it, it is then rinsed in cold water to remove the lye and then boiled or baked and served with butter! Here in Minnesota you can purchase Lutefisk in most grocery stores and it is even on the menu at some restaurants at this time of year.
If you really want to find out about Lutefisk, take a trip to Madison, Minnesota – a city that claims to be the Lutefisk capital of the USA! When you enter town you will be greeted by a huge statue of a cod fish named Lou – short for Lou T. Fisk.
Although for many Lutefisk remains a strong Christmas tradition, the demand for Lutefisk is rapidly decreasing! Back in 1991, the Day Fish Company processed 65 tons of Lutefisk, last year they only processed half that. Every year, they say, demand drops a bit. Many think the reason for the decline is the mixing of cultures. Minnesota is no longer full of Swedes marrying Swedes and carrying on a tradition, Swedes are now marrying many other nationalities and Lutefisk is losing its battle.
If you are a Lutefisk fan, take no offense to the spelling. Norwegians spell it Lutefisk and the Swedish Lutfisk but I decided to go with just one spelling for this post.
Curious as to where to find a Lutefisk dinner? Click here for more information. If you dine on Lutefisk, take note of the bland look of the plate – white fish with white potatoes – very Scandinavian bland!