fredag, desember 22, 2006


Yesterday I tried lutefisk, and I lived to tell the tale! Actually, it wasn't as bad as I imagined it would be. According to the experts (those who have eaten lutefisk more than twice), the lutefisk I ate yesterday was really good. Still, it's weird to eat fish that has the consistency of jelly.

Eating lutefisk around Christmas is a common tradition in Norway. I'll probably eat it again - next Christmas. Once a year is definately enough.

From Wikipedia:

Interview with Jeffrey Steingarten, author of The Man Who Ate Everything (translated quote from a 1999 article in Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet:)

"Lutefisk is not food, it is a weapon of mass destruction. It is currently the only exception for the man who ate everything. Otherwise, I am fairly liberal, I gladly eat worms and insects, but I draw the line on lutefisk."
"What is special with lutefisk?"
"Lutefisk is the Norwegians' attempt at conquering the world. When they discovered that Viking raids didn't give world supremacy, they invented a meal so terrifying, so cruel, that they could scare people to become one's subordinates. And if I'm not terribly wrong, you will be able to do it as well."
"But some people say that they like lutefisk. Do you think they tell the truth?"
"I do not know. Of all food, lutefisk is the only one that I don't take any stand on. I simply cannot decide whether it is nice or disgusting, if the taste is interesting or commonplace. The only thing I know, is that I like bacon, mustard and lefse. Lutefisk is an example of food that almost doesn't taste anything, but is so full of emotions that the taste buds get knocked out."

11 kommentarer:

Hilde sa...

There must be no viking blood in me at all, I still haven't tried lutefisk!

Come to think of it, there are many traditional specialities I haven't tried. For instance "smalahove".
Those poor poor tourists...

Zoe sa...

Not even for a million dollars would I eat lutefisk.

roro sa...

I hear from the movie Drop Dead Gorgeous that lutefisk is "best with lots of butter". Is this true? Or did they take creative license?

HB sa...

Hilde: I'm in no rush to try "smalahove" (sheep's head)either...

Zoe: hee hee :-) After reading your blog, I believe you!

Roro: I know quite a lot of people put the hot liquids (fat) you get when you roast Christmas pork ribs (another traditional dish) on the lutefisk. Haven't heard of butter, but I'm sure some eat it with melted butter too. There are many options, and if you COMBINE them all, you won't be able to taste the fish at all:-)

bani sa...

The best (or worst) thing about lutfisk is that people who like it always say, in an offhand way, "det är ju tillbehören som gör det".

If food is only edible because you can drench it in accoutrements then it's NOT EDIBLE. QED.

Have a happy Christmas HB!

Winter sa...

Still, it's weird to eat fish that has the consistency of jelly.


Vesper sa...

that's hilarious. i've never tried it, but i want to. i think i prefer norwegian dessert foods, though....

greymatters sa...

I tried lutefisk ONCE. Never again. Ever.

I am, however, cracking up at this cite, "... is so full of emotions that the taste buds get knocked out."

I must be terribly unemotional or something ;-).

TK sa...

I have lived my entire life with a couple of basic credos, and one of them is: I will eat anything once. I may hate it, it may look disgusting, but I will try it.

That said, I have not tried lutefisk, nor would I know where to find it here. But I have tried some fairly exotic, yet disgusting, things, so I confess... I am curious.

HB sa...

GM: I think it's emotional for those who have Norwegian genes in them. That must be the only reason they eat it so much in some parts of the States.

TK: Thanks for vistiting! Perhaps if you go to the midwestern parts of the US?

TK sa...

Actually, I spent four years in the cold hinterland of Wisconsin, among many a Scandinavian descendant. I drank weird beers and ate lots of cheese, but this legendary lutefisk never came up. Perhaps next time I visit, I'll seek it out... then again, it sounds like it might just ruin a perfectly good visit. We'll see.