Monday August 8th 2022

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Posts Tagged ‘Lutefisk’

Searching ”“ A Serial Novelle Chapter 22: “For whatever might come”

By Patrick Cabello Hansel By the time they reached Ingebretsen”'s there was a line out the store, down the block in front of the poster collective and La Que Buena, all the way around the corner on 17th. Angel”'s Mom and Dad decided to go to the Mercado Central rather than wait in line, but Angel and Luz were curious to see what this great fuss was about. When they got to the end of the line, they stood behind an elderly couple, holding hands and smiling. The woman nodded at them and said something that sounded to Angel like “Lotten barn in”. There was that word again: lotten. He had heard it from the strange man in the park; the waitress at Maria”'s had told him it meant “Let”. Let the barn in?” Angel thought. What is that supposed to mean? The woman noticed the perplexed look on Angel”'s face and said, “Don”'t worry; it”'s an old Santa Lucia day blessing. You two do know it”'s Santa Lucia Day, don”'t you?” “Yes!” Luz said, “That”'s why we”'re here! But what are all these people doing in line?” she asked. “Buying lutefisk, my dear”, the older gentleman said. “Lutefisk?” Angel said. “What is lutefisk?” He was beginning to tire from so many foreign words. (more…)

“Lutecorn,” “lutecream,” and “lutefish””¦ The Myth of the Lye-processed Cod fish is exposed bathed in butter

by Carsten Smith It is Lutefisk Tasting Day at Ingebretsen”'s Scandinavian Gifts. Customers who come in for Swedish meatballs and bakery products cautiously accept a sample from Diane Noble, an Ingebretsen”'s employee in a traditional Swedish costume. They take a sample in a small paper cup and stab the white fish in butter with a toothpick. Gingerly nibbling, they gradually realize that they are not dealing with a biohazard or toxic substance. “That”'s not bad. What is all the fuss about?” is the usual response. Some customers decide to buy some lutefisk and take it home. Others are content to know what the food that is often the butt of jokes really tastes like. Lutefisk means “fish in lye” and for generations of families in the Scandinavia, it was a steady supply of protein during the long winter months. In the United States, it is a Christmas tradition for many Scandinavian-Americans. But since the lutefisk tasting at Ingebretsen”'s didn”'t result in people running screaming from the store, why all the jokes and reputation so bad that Andrew Zimmern filmed an episode of Bizarre Foods at the store? “To be fair, the way lutefisk was processed years ago smelled pretty bad,” says Chris Dorff, president of Olsen Foods in north Minneapolis. Olsen Foods is the largest lutefisk processor in North America, making and selling 500,000 pounds a year. A large portion of that goes to Ingebretsen”'s. The traditional method was to catch cod in nets from February to April. The fish were then skinned, deboned, and hung outside on racks to dry. The combination of cold air and bright sun were just right for quickly drying fillets and preserving them to a board-like consistency. People were then able to safely keep the fish for months and insure a steady supply of protein for their families. When a cook was ready to use the fish, it had to be reconstituted. Because soaking in water alone [...]

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