Category Archives: Food

A Lutefisk dinner is coming to Whidbey Island in January! Order your tickets now!

Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge will host its first annual Lutefisk Dinner at the Nordic Hall on Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 12 noon until 4:00 pm.  The public is invited to participate & enjoy this long-time Scandinavian tradition!

A Lutefisk dinner is very much enjoyed, highly anticipated event, usually served during the Christmas holiday season or during the following month.  Many Lodge members have envisioned hosting such a dinner for a long time and it is hoped that it will become an annual holiday tradition for Whidbey’s Nordic Lodge and for the surrounding community!

In addition to Lutefisk with a traditional butter and white cream sauce,  Swedish meatballs and gravy will be served.  The meal will include potatoes, lefse, a vegetable, dessert and a drink.

Dinner service will be staggered so that you have a choice of seating times during the afternoon — 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm, or 3 pm.   Adult admission is $25.  $15 for children ages 5 -12.   All tickets  must be purchased by January 20, 2019. Brown Paper Tickets is handling ticket sales for this event.


To purchase your tickets by phone call 1-800-838-3006

To order them online, go to and then, in the “Find an event” search box at the top of the page, type in Lutefisk Coupeville to find our event listing, and order your tickets!

If you have any questions, please call Brian Petersen at 360-678-5197.

The Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge is looking forward to our presentation of this event.  They hope it will be a wonderful experience for you and your friends & family!

Holiday baking – it’s time to start!

And to help you get started, the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge isberlinerkransermatprat offering a couple of baking classes. On November 30th,  Berlinerkranser and pepperkaker – Norwegian Christmas cookie favorites — will be on the menu, and on December 15th,  Æbleskiver – Danish pancake puffs or balls!
December 15th class has been cancelled.

Those attending will participate in the making of these favorites, get to taste a few and get to take a few home,   but the majority of the cookies that are baked will be frozen and served at the Lodge Julefest, which will take place on December 10th.

A reservation is required to attend one of these classes and a donation of $5  requested. Classes will start at 1:00 pm.

Call Ingri at 360-678-4889 to let her know you want to come
or email her at .

Image is from Arctic Grub website – a great place for recipes  and stories!

Lutefisk: A Strange and Beloved Tradition

lutefisk_junkie_mugWhether you love it or you hate it, lutefisk is a closely held tradition among Scandinavian- Americans. A wintertime rite of passage among many Sons of Norway lodges, lutefisk dinners remain a popular and important means of connecting with Nordic culture and heritage. But how did something as bizarre as fish treated with lye become such a cultural icon? Read on to learn more about this notorious Scandinavian food.

Unknown Origins
While no one is certain how or where lutefisk originated—whether in Sweden or Norway— there are a couple of legends regarding its creation. The first suggests that early Viking fishermen hung their cod, an invaluable source of protein for the winter months, to dry on tall birch racks. In a skirmish with neighboring Vikings, the racks of fish were burned but a rainstorm blew in and doused the fire. Left to soak in rainwater and birch ash for months, the reconstituted fish was later discovered by some hungry Vikings who ate it. The second less plausible tale of lutefisk’s origins describes a lye-poisoning attempt on Viking raiders by St. Patrick in Ireland. According to legend, St. Patrick served the raiders lye-soaked fish in the hopes of dispatching them, however the raiders enjoyed the fish and beheld it as a delicacy. Although an entertaining story, the lifetime of St. Patrick precedes known Viking activity in Ireland by more than three centuries.

What is known is that lutefisk gained its popularity in the U.S. after a sharp increase in Scandinavian immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Originally a food born out of poverty, descendants of immigrants now view it as a connection to their ancestors and their heritage. “These dinners represent important traditions in both families and communities, and for some, they are a valued connection to culture and heritage. While the food tradition certainly originated in Scandinavia, the immigrant communities—especially their churches and cultural heritage lodges—have played a major role in developing the phenomenon of lutefisk dinners,” says Carrie Roy, a Scandinavian cultural scholar and reator of the short documentary ‘Where the Sacred Meets the Quivering Profane: Exploring the public and Private Spheres of Lutefisk.’

How it’s Made
Modern lutefisk begins its journey from sea to plate as a whitefish, typically cod. Dried and reconstituted in lye brine, the fish is later soaked to remove the causticity and packaged for purchase. Cooked until a seemingly impossible combination of gelatinous and flaky, lutefisk is typically served with butter or cream sauce.

Facts about Lutefisk.

  • The state of Wisconsin exempts lutefisk from classification as a toxic substance in its laws regulating workplace safety
  • Much of the lutefisk sold by Olsen Fish Company comes from Ålesund, Norway.
  • Sterling silver should never be used in the preparation or eating of lutefisk as it will stain the silver.
  • Left overnight, residual residue from lutefisk preparation is nearly impossible to remove.
  • The self-proclaimed “lutefisk capital of the world” is in Madison, MN, home to fiberglass codfish, Lou T. Fisk.
  • While more common in Scandinavian-American communities, lutefisk is experiencing a resurgence among restaurants and catering companies in Norway, up 72 percent from 2005 to 2007.
  • The first written preparation of lutefisk in literature is in the writings of Olaus Magnus in 1555. In his writings, Olaus notes that it should be served with salted butter.

This article was taken from the Sons of Norway Newsletter Service. Learn more about Sons of Norway by visiting them on the web at


Nordic Fest on November 14th!

Nordic Fest poster