Why the Vikings fled Norway

From Al Bezanson

Why the Vikings fled Norway ___ For ages it has been obligatory for Scandinavians to ‘enjoy’ lutefisk at yule time. Having tasted this delicacy in Stavanger myself, I found it understandable that millions of citizens would emigrate from that beautiful region just to escape the obligation. Anyhow, that’s my theory.  Lutefisk is cod marinated in lye over a very long period of time. If you enjoy snacking on Ivory soap you might enjoy lutefisk

Lutefisk

11 comments

  • I bet Sister Felicia could find a tasty way of preparing lutefisk.

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    • I am certain that either Sister Felicia or Sista Felicia could prepare it in a tasty way. But EJ, your choice of the word ‘tasty’ was perhaps hasty. The perfect word, like ‘flavorful’, when you want to be politely evasive. No offense intended to SF___ if anyone could lessen the agony of downing a meal of lutefisk I know she could do it.

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  • Who is this “Sister” Felicia of whom you speak?

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  • The last time I had lutefisk was at my grandmother Astrid’s’s place in Brooklyn Heights, and neither my sister nor I couldn’t eat it. I’d give it another try, as I’m craving pickled herring right now.

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  • My Swedish grandmother prepared this every Christmas…..her children, my Mom, and aunt and 2 uncles all ate it, the next generation( mine) never…….pickled herring has however,remained a part of the smorgasbord, along with hardtack and good sharp cheese, cardamom braid, meatballs etc…..

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  • I had it as a kid in “lanesville 60’s (lipeäkala or livekala (?) think they used something different to prepare “wtih instead of lye (?) “…”I was told it’s all about how it is prepared lots of soaking cold water for sure, as I am not as good a cook as those on this blog…I thought it tasted ok but as a kid I was never too fussy eater…Now there are some things I refuse to eat…more picky or fussy at times now that I am older…

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    • Dave, there are multiple critical steps involved in the soaking process to make it edible so if you thought it tasted ok it was surely done right. Finns have a word for fish that is soaked too long in lye – saippuakala (soap fish).

      My encounter was 45 years ago, and the memory is still vivid. I was duped into ordering the lutefisk entrée by a fellow in a bar in Stavanger. After I gagged on a mouthful he described a popular backyard process involving recycled bathtubs and long soaking intervals in lye (lute.) When the fish was stored outdoors the lye kept wild critters from eating the fish.

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      • Thanks for the response I love it here learn a new item every day…Sounds like the process you describe not only kept the critters away but the humans were not too keen on it either…Your comment got me thinking and I decided to use ye old (Goggle) you Know Capt Joe pod cast – on his talk show a few podcast back found this:

        FYI only http://www.dlc.fi/~marianna/gourmet/lutfisk.htm

        Thank you Merry Christmas and have a bright New Year!

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  • Your theory sounds plausible Al-sounds perfectly dreadful and thanks for the warning. Happy Holidays to you and Phyllis!

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  • Thanks Kim, and Happy Holidays to you.

    Perhaps I should not be so critical of lutefisk. It is surely in the category of sustainable seafood, for there is no danger that its consumption will put undue pressure on northwest Atlantic cod stocks.

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