Lutefisk and Other Questionable Food-Like Substances

I wrote a story about a great local lutefisk supper in a mostly serious way, but I also wrote some extremely silly fake headlines for it that we obviously didn’t use.*

Here’s the real headline:

Lots of lutefisk: Church readies 375 pounds of Scandinavian delicacy

Here are the fakes, with at least one addition from others in the newsroom:

Lutefisk: Probably a crime against humanity

Lutefisk: Run while you still can.

Lutefisk: Banned by the Geneva Convention.

Lutefisk: Wait, you want me to eat what?

Lutefisk: Because trials of fish soaked in arsenic didn’t go so well.

Lutefisk: Scandinavians’ attempt to see what they can get other people to eat

Lutefisk: Making haggis sound yummy

Lutefisk: Try it, you won’t die (probably)

375 pounds of lutefisk: Scandinavian WMDs

Lutefisk: A true tale of Scandinavian passive-aggression

Lutefisk: Why?

Lutefisk: No, seriously, people eat it

Lutefisk: 1 out of 10 people prefer it to tree bark

Have any suggestions for more? Hit the comments!

I think everyone should get the chance to at least smell lutefisk, and, if they have the fortitude, try a taste. Lutefisk is meant to be served hot, and generally with melted butter. My family likes to mash it in with potatoes and stuff it into a piece of lefse to make a sort of potato-fish burrito.

Do not use silver plated silverware with lutefisk.

Do not overcook lutefisk.

Do not taunt lutefisk.

* I am half Norwegian, and my grandfather makes lutefisk for Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. So yes, I do respect lutefisk, but after extensive exposure, I feel entitled to make fun of it a bit. I have never eaten it, but believe it is a fine old tradition best practiced by people who are not me. My brother has eaten lutefisk and I am happy to say he has suffered no ill effects. Some day his tastebuds may grow back.

4 thoughts on “Lutefisk and Other Questionable Food-Like Substances

  1. Since we share a first name and a common heritage, I will save you the trouble. I have eaten lutefisk, and since we have the same name, I think that means you never have to eat it yourself.
    It really doesn’t have much flavor (which is why the copious amounts of butter are necessary), but it is the texture which really makes it horrendous. It’s like fish-flavored jello, which has been stirred up with a fork after setting so you get the disturbing juxtaposition of chunky and blobby.
    Even people who live in Norway don’t treat this “food” with the kind of reverence we show it here in the US.

    • There’s a certain amount of teasing about lutefisk in my family, but nobody’s ever actually made me try it. This is probably because neither of my parents eat lutefisk either, and they’re pretty sensible people (disco-era clothing choices notwithstanding). Cooked carrots. Ketchup. Green beans. These things they made me try. Lutefisk is just beyond the pale, though, and they knew it.

      I think the only thing I’ve ever seen that looked ickier than lutefisk was fish aspic. Fish jello. Ugh.

      I had to put a bit of a disclaimer on the article because people get very heated about lutefisk and although many people see it as a very serious thing, my Norwegian-American family has always treated it with a generous dose of humor.

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