Ltefisk

music
ambience: choir, Greig Men’s chorus, Scandinavian folk choir – “Paal Paa Haugen”

Some call it an acquired taste; others have less kind words for the experience of eating – Lutefisk. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. In Scandinavian communities around the world, this time of the year is the season for Lutefisk dinners. We’re at the Lakeview Lutheran church, in Madison, Wisconsin, where they’re holding their annual dinner, complete with traditional music and — Lutefisk! Church member Joyce McElmurry.

“I first tried eating it when I was a small child with my family. It was tradition to have it for New Year’s Eve, and my grandfather insisted that each and every one of us eat Lutefisk, and we did!

Lutefisk is codfish that’s been dried and preserved with lye, and when it’s prepared, the strong smelling fish is soaked to rinse out the lye. James P. Leary is a professor of folklore and Scandinavian culture at the University of Wisconsin.

“It’s old time, old country peasant food. It’s food that you had ready for the winter.
Catching cod in the North Atlantic, and drying it so it’s stiff like a board. It’s ready to be eaten later and you’ve got to soften it up, and cook it and so forth. And so it’s eaten during the long winter. And when immigrants came over here in America, it became bit by bit, symbolic ethnic food stuff that we eat to part demonstrate our Norwegian background.”

And although not everyone likes the strong taste of Lutefisk; Scandinavians do agree that it’s an important part of their heritage.

ambience: Greig Men’s chorus – “Oh Lutefisk”

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Ltefisk

A strong tasting fish has maintained its stature in the heritage of Scandinavian culture.
Air Date:11/07/2002
Scientist:
Transcript:


music
ambience: choir, Greig Men's chorus, Scandinavian folk choir - "Paal Paa Haugen"

Some call it an acquired taste; others have less kind words for the experience of eating - Lutefisk. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. In Scandinavian communities around the world, this time of the year is the season for Lutefisk dinners. We're at the Lakeview Lutheran church, in Madison, Wisconsin, where they're holding their annual dinner, complete with traditional music and -- Lutefisk! Church member Joyce McElmurry.

"I first tried eating it when I was a small child with my family. It was tradition to have it for New Year's Eve, and my grandfather insisted that each and every one of us eat Lutefisk, and we did!

Lutefisk is codfish that's been dried and preserved with lye, and when it's prepared, the strong smelling fish is soaked to rinse out the lye. James P. Leary is a professor of folklore and Scandinavian culture at the University of Wisconsin.

"It's old time, old country peasant food. It's food that you had ready for the winter.
Catching cod in the North Atlantic, and drying it so it's stiff like a board. It's ready to be eaten later and you've got to soften it up, and cook it and so forth. And so it's eaten during the long winter. And when immigrants came over here in America, it became bit by bit, symbolic ethnic food stuff that we eat to part demonstrate our Norwegian background."

And although not everyone likes the strong taste of Lutefisk; Scandinavians do agree that it's an important part of their heritage.

ambience: Greig Men's chorus - "Oh Lutefisk"

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.