Lutefisk: A family tradition
A total of 1,133 people enjoyed the Norwegian Lutefisk Supper on Saturday, Feb. 7.
Offered as part of the 2015 Iola Winter Carnival, the supper drew people from throughout Wisconsin and beyond.
“I just came here for the lutefisk,” said Lucas Tjugum, from Tomahawk. “It’s a family tradition.”
With his grandparents and siblings, Tjugum attends about four lutefisk suppers each year.
“I trained them to eat lutefisk,” said his grandfather Orrin Tjugam. “I can’t remember if I had to bribe them the first time.”
Orrin’s wife Patricia recalls the first time she tried the Norwegian delicacy.
“I started eating it when he took me to meet his parents. Guess what they served,” she said. “It’s an acquired taste, it really is.”
“We just ask the children to try it,” Patricia said. “Now they all eat it. We even serve it for family gatherings, like Thanksgiving.”
Ardis Schingo, of Wisconsin Rapids, said this year’s supper served the best lutefisk she has ever tried.
Schingo, who is a member of Sons of Norway, attends at least four lutefisk suppers every year.
Some young people who tried lutefisk for the first time on Saturday said it tasted good and it was not as bad as they thought it would be.
The traditional Norwegian dish is made from dried cod soaked in lye. The lye is thoroughly rinsed off before the fish is cooked.
Lutefisk is gelatinous in texture and is considered a “real treat” when cooked properly.
Other traditional Norwegian foods served at the annual supper included lefse, krumkake and rosettes.