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Lutefisk Eating Contest

July 29, 2008 | 2 Comments

Post to the Host:
Garrison, I just wanted to pass on this link about the Lutefisk Eating Contest at the Ballard Seafood Festival this past weekend. Seems that a brave fishing boat captain picked up his bowl and downed two pounds of lutefisk in seven seconds. This was acknowledged to be a new world record by people who care about lutefisk. Just goes to show that the Scandinavian traditions are alive and well in pockets of the country outside of Minnesota.
Look forward to seeing your show in a few weeks.

Sarah W.

Thanks for the news from Ballard, Sarah, a suburb of Seattle and a hotspot of Norwegian civilization (the contest was held in Bergen Square), and congratulations to Einer Johannsen, the hardy winner of the lutefisk eating contest. I notice in the story that Mr. Johannsen "slurped" his lutefisk—drank it down "like Rainier beer," he said—which suggests that this was a liquefied lutefisk, or at least something less solid than what decent people would serve in Minnesota. And of course here in Minnesota we were brought up not to rush through a meal, and certainly not a meal of lutefisk. Food should be savored, not bolted. So this is not the great accomplishment it may seem to be. It is sort of like winning the Loudest Laugh contest. I also note that a sushi bar is opening in Ballard. For some older Norwegians, raw tuna represents a greater challenge than lutefisk. We will watch this with interest.


Thanks Sarah for the reminder re. Norwegian outposts outside of Minnesota. I am descended from a long line of Norwegians who thought that Minnesota summers were too short and its terrain too hilly, and chose instead to settle around the area of Story City, Iowa.

Just a minor correction here: as a former Seattle-ite (yes, we Iowans do get around) I once had the enormous pleasure to live in Ballard, and I feel it only fair to add that Ballard is NOT a suburb of Seattle, but the name of a neighborhood within Seattle proper (aka Dinkytown in Minneapolis). I remember it as the home of scores of fishing boats of all sizes and beautiful views of Puget Sound with snow-capped mountains on all sides. A more logical settlement location for the Norse that central Iowa, you betcha. Unfortunately, its become too expensive now for those old fisherman named Ole to live in anymore.

Can't wait to see you in Des Moines,
Paula Marie

The Lutefisk have to lie in cold water, with exanche of the cold water, several times.
Then its ready for the oven or how one will prepare the Lutefisk.
In Sweden its hard to find the dried Lutefisk. We get it in vacuum packaging.

But both the dried Lutefisk and the "packet" Lutefisk have to lie in cold water.

The dried, who looked like huge yellow flattened hard material, took several days to prepare.
If not prepared, in cold water, the Lutefisk will be like sludge.
Clever man this Norwegen. Drinking the Lutefisk sludge and win!

We, the hard old ones, also eat Lutefisk several times a year.

(Lutfisk in my language)

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