Tag Archives: lutefisk

1. Anything the Scandinavians Do to Fish

Moving from the Northeast to the Midwest forced me to encounter an interesting form of culinary disgust. This photo is from a Wisconsin-based grocery store that feels the need to appease its Nordic clientele by having a whole section devoted to herring.

It’s not the poor herrings’ fault. It’s the people who think smoking it will make it good.

Now, I will happily snarf down the meatballs in IKEA, so this is not to say all cuisine from that part of Northern Europe needs to be sealed off with nuclear waste. However, what they do to fish should quality for prosecution under the Geneva Convention.

For example, I give you lutefisk. For those of you who have wills to live and never encountered this, it is basically whitefish that goes through this elaborate soaking process which extracts half of the protein to create this evil jelly stuff that could potentially come alive and eat your children. That’s not the worst of it though. Part of the process involves soaking the fish in LYE! You know, the stuff that goes into soap that could be FATAL, if ingested.

Evidently, someone (probably named Sven) had a brilliant idea and told his buddy, Bjorn, “Hey, we have this delicious delicate fish to eat. I know. Let’s extract all the nutrition from it and make it caustic!”

Yum!  Look at that!

I wonder if this is the Scandinavian form of fugu.