At the market yesterday I saw that they had locally-produced lutefisk in the fish case.

Now, I’ve been called ‘adventurous’; but do I really want to buy two pounds of the stuff? And how do you cook it, and what do you serve with it?

Anthony’s Homeport used to offer it during the holidays - they may still do that. If not try some of the restaurants in Ballard.

btw, I have heard it referred to as “Fish Jello”, so it is doubtless and acquired taste…

What do you serve with lutefisk? Why, any other food that’s white, of course.

Swedish meatballs, lefse, potatoes…Scandinavian food.

And, the proper temperature to cook lutefisk is somewhere about 3,500 degrees. An electric blast furnace outta do it.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would eat the stuff. Gluey, smelly, lumpy wallpaper paste.

I eat canned haggis, when I can find it. But lutefisk does sound a little gross.

I’d still like to try it sometime though.

Where specifically did you see it? I’m actually looking for some for my dad for Christmas. (It’s one of those “horrible peasant foods that have become a holiday tradition” deals.)
And no, you really don’t want to try it.

It was at Cost Cutter in Blaine, WA in the fresh fish case. It was vacuum-sealed in a pouch with a blue backing, and was made in Washington. Possibly in Poulsbo – IIRC.

Ah…not the Pike Place Market, then. Dang.

I think that’s the brand I’d been getting in Ballard till the import shop closed. My dad sez that as lutefisk goes, it’s good stuff.

The stuff in the blue package?

Blue package, Poulsbo…yeah, that sounds about right.
I fervently hope that there’s only one lutefisk manufacturer in Poulsbo.

With all the Scandihoovians up here? I’m surprised there’s not one on every block!

Lutefisk will make you poop and burn down a church ala Bobby Hill.


The most common (traditional) way is boiling it. I believe originally, they would also boil the potatoes at the same time (thus saving money). You can also bake it; that way it still looks like fish and might even be edible. I’ve heard it can also be steamed or broiled, but have never seen anyone do that.

You do serve it with other traditional Scandinavian foods, like Rysdad said. (But swedish meatballs aren’t white.) Cream gravy is, and he forgot to mention that. Also, lingonberry jelly or jam can be used on the lefse, or just butter and sugar (white, of course).

Growing up, my family went to the Xmas season Lutefisk dinner at the Vinje Lutheran church every year. (In my small town, it was polite for most people to go to ALL the church dinners in town, not just your own church.) After the first time, I never touched the lutefisk again. But you could easily fill up on the meatballs & gravy, potatoes, lefse, and homemade deserts.

However you prepare it, it is imperative that you have lots of snaps to wash it down with. I suggest OP Andersen, Aalborg Akvavit or Bäska Droppar.

Lutefisk is best heated in the oven and served with boiled potatoes, fried bacon, mushed peas, melted butter and flattbrød. The mushed peas can be replaced with mushed kohlrabi.

Lutefisk is one of those foods that’s so nasty, even people who like it don’t like it.

I remember seeing a woman interviewed on TV years ago about it: “Well, when I was a kid, I didn’t like it, but since it was tradition I’d eat about a teaspoon. Now that I’m grown up, I’ll eat a whole tablespoon.”

Two pounds? No way.

Wouldn’t throwing it into the Sun be better? Or would that make the whole solar system smell so bad we’d have to leave?

ETA: Lutefisk is actually something that Scandinavian grandparents threaten their grandkids with during the holiday season to make the grandkids behave. You’re not actually supposed to cook it or eat it. At least that’s what my Swedish grandparents always did. And we behaved.

Swing by Ballard - or, well, any church that has a Scandinavian heritage and a Christmas-time banquet. They’ll have it. They’ll have leftovers.

Here is a chance to try it:

1920 Dexter Ave N

Wednesday, Dec. 9. Lutfisk prepared by experts! Come to our Members & Friends dinner and enjoy Lisa Bergman’s beautiful music along with lutfisk and meatballs. This will be the best lutfisk you’ll get this season. $30.

I am not that picky and I found it to be one of most unpleasant things I’ve ever tried to eat.

I say you buy the 2 pounds and see if you can figure out a way to make it edible by trying various recipes.

Think of it like those vacations from hell. No fun at the time, but the story telling aspects more than make up for the initial unpleasantness.

THERE’S a low bar…