It is said that about half the Norwegians
who immigrated to America came in order to escape the hated lutefisk,
and the other half came to spread the gospel of lutefisk's wonderfulness. - Norwegian-American
Islands consist of stunning mountain peaks that seem to come right
out of the sea, and sheltered inlets populated with little fishing villages.
For centuries, fishing has been the very foundation of life on the islands.
While on the deck of a vessel outside a Lofoten fishing village, I overheard
an American passenger ask a Norwegian what those things were hanging
on stilts. The Norwegian replied that it was air-dried cod for making
Lutefisk. The American exclaimed, "And the birds don't eat it?"
The Norwegian shrugged, 'No, they don't seem to like It.'
Everyone of Scandinavian heritage knows of Lutefisk
(pronounced lou-tah-fisk), but for many it is more a source for jokes
than actually eaten it. Lutefisk is a traditional Nordic food of dried
cod or stockfish - today mostly made with dried ling - prepared in lye.
It is soaked in cold water for five to six days (changed daily). In
some recipes the fish is also hammered with a wooden mallet to soften
it before its first soaking. It is then soaked again in another solution
of cold water and lye for an additional two days. When this treatment
is finished, a final treatment of yet another four to six days of soaking
in cold water (also changed daily) is needed. Eventually, the lutefisk
is ready to be baked in the oven for 40-50 minutes. Once cooked, the
lutefisk has a very mild flavor and rather pronounced odor. People have
mixed opinions of the deliciousness of the dish; some loving it, others
feeling sick just from the smell of it.
Never-the-less, Lutefisk is a popular Christmas dish
in the U.S. that graces the holiday table for many people of Norwegian
ancestry. It is generally served with baked potatoes and potato
lefse - a flat and dense potato bread.
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Haven't been called Tad for . . .gee, maybe I've NEVER been
called Tad . . . guess I'm the only one with chutzpah enough to mention Bourdain.
--- Ken, Shutesbury, MA
I think we must have had an entirely different experience in
the UK. (Fresh Food and Real Ale week 1). We were up in Edinburgh and
they served something called Neeps & Tatties. The items were
boiled so long that I couldnt even recognize what I was eating. Come to
think of it I couldnt taste them either. Later I found that Neeps
are Turnips and Tatties are potatoes.
--- Lindy, Phoenix, AZ
My mouth was watering as I read some of your descriptions of
the fantastic fare of ... England? I had always felt smug about the lowly reputation
of British cuisine as this gave us at least one country with a worse culinary
reputation than America's. I guess I'll have to change my views. Your article
made me actually want to take a CULINARY tour of Britain. Yummy yummy yummy.
--- Sandy Miner, Portland, OR
Thanks for your note. Thanks to Traveling
Boy I get to interview a world famous chef this week who is widely recognized
as spearheading the Yummy movement in Ireland. Guess I'll have to take yet another
culinary tour a little further north and check it out... (I love my job!) ---
Very interesting, mouth-watering piece by Audrey! (A McDreamy McMeel). Your
web site is fascinating!
--- Susie, Victoria, BC
Combining travel, food, and intelligent advice -- BRILLIANT!
Your site fills a long-felt need for hungry roamers. Keep it up! It's Anthony
Bourdain with reservations and CLASS.
--- Tad, Boston, MA
Three Musical Pilgrimages: Mozart, Grieg and Hendrix
Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
could read and compose music, plus play the violin and piano, when he was
five years old. Born into a musical family in Salzburg, Austria (then the
Holy Roman Empire), he had a unique ability for imitating music, which first
became evident when he recited a musical piece by simply observing his father
conducting a lesson to his older sister. This led to a childhood on the
road, where the young prodigy performed before many of the royal courts
Treasures of Ireland: The Irish Goodbye (Dispatch
The Palladian Traveler brings to a close his 20-part
series on the Emerald Isle from an upscale restaurant in downtown Dublin
where he files his final dispatch and then quietly slips away.
Lake Charles Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles,
the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their
childrens eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very
much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from
last years Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little
ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already
fed and are rubbing their stomachs.
Puerto Vallarta: Magic and Mayhem on the Malecon
So I heard that you could spend from dawn to dusk on
the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and never get bored and I thought,
"Okay, I'm up for that challenge." Well, maybe not the dawn part
I'm not a morning person so I had no problem leaving those
early hours to the joggers and those seeking an early start to catch their
red snapper for dinner.