Lutefisk on menu at Nordic dinner

It’s slimy, gooey and shakes like Jell-O — fishy, white Jell-O. But the gooey lutefisk tastes good, according to Nordic Lodge President Brian Petersen.

“All of the Scandinavian countries preserve fish by this method,” Petersen said in an email.

“No one knows exactly where the practice of preserving fish by this method occurred, but as I am sure you can speculate, there are many ‘legends.’”

Lutefisk means ‘lye-fish,’ preserved by drying, being treated with lye, and then washed and reconstituted, Petersen said.

It will be part of the main course at a “Lutefisk and Meatball Dinner” hosted by the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge in Central Whidbey on Saturday, Jan. 26.

Though this year’s tickets are sold out, the dinner is expected to become an annual tradition, according to Petersen.

“This is the first attempt our lodge has done to host a lutefisk dinner,” he said. “The idea came from one of our members, Laurie O’Brien. She loves lutefisk and proposed we do a dinner as a fundraiser for our lodge.”

The idea proved popular, and they ended up maxing out tickets with about 140 people expected to attend.

The actual taste of lutefisk is mild.

“The real flavor comes from the toppings put on the fish: butter, a white sauce, and sometimes crumbled bacon or salt pork,” Petersen said.

Other cultural foods to be served at the dinner include Swedish meatballs and gravy and lefse, which is a thin flat bread that is buttered, sprinkled with sugar or mixture of sugar and cinnamon then rolled and eaten, Petersen said.

The lodge hired a professional to cook the lutefisk.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Lori Hansen, a lodge member, who will play the accordion.

Vern Olsen, of the Shifty Sailors, will sing and play his accordion.

Lutefisk is typically available during the Christmas season, Petersen said.

For locals who missed grabbing a ticket in time, but still want to try some lutefisk, New Day Fisheries in Port Townsend supplies lutefisk to multiple lodges and to the Skagit Valley’s Farmhouse Restaurant in La Conner.

“In the Scandinavian countries, the practice is much less than it used to be, but still exists,” Petersen said.

“In America, the emigrants continued to eat Lutefisk … Today, more lutefisk is eaten in Wisconsin than all of Norway.”

The lodge is located at 63 Jacobs Road.

For information, visit whidbeyislandnordiclodge.wordpress.com

More in News

Commissioner will delegate vote for state senate appointment

Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson won’t vote on a state senate… Continue reading

Man files another public records lawsuit against Langley

A South Whidbey man has filed another lawsuit against the city of… Continue reading

Island County’s longtime hearing examiner is likely to be replaced

For the first time in more than 30 years, there will be… Continue reading

Navy SAR conducts medical evacuation on Olympic Peninsula

On Oct. 3, a search and rescue team from Naval Air Station… Continue reading

Another Narcan Night set for Oct. 24

Island County’s opioid outreach team is hosting Narcan Night 6 p.m., Oct.… Continue reading

Photo provided by Island County Sheriff’s Office 
                                A Langley man in a single-seat kit aircraft crashed Friday afternoon after his plane lost power while in the process of landing at Whidbey Airpark on South Whidbey.
Langley man injured in fiery plane crash

A 65-year-old Langley man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle… Continue reading

I-976 could detour Island Transit buses

If passed, Initiative 976 has the potential to significantly diminish bus and… Continue reading

Newspaper writers win top awards

Two Whidbey News Group staff members received top writing awards at a… Continue reading

Larsen talks health care, housing at vets forum

A local congressman and a panel of veteran service providers fielded questions… Continue reading

Most Read