Lutefisk (dried cod treated with lye) must surely be the strangest culinary effort credited to the Norwegians, but what a treat when prepared properly. Everyone of course is not a devotee of lutefisk, but those who are defend it vehemently.
Lutefisk (dried cod treated with lye) must surely be the strangest culinary effort credited to the Norwegians, but what a treat when prepared properly. Everyone of course is not a devotee of lutefisk, but those who are defend it vehemently. Others go to the opposite extreme and claim it’s a national disgrace. In years past, the homemaker had to go through the complicated task of treating the dry fish with lye, but now, even in America, frozen lutefisk is readily available at select fish markets and at Scandinavian delicatessens.
What is it about the Norwegian Supper?
Maybe it’s because of the large concentration of Norwegians in the Iola Scandinavia area that is certainly a reason for how and why it started 50 plus years ago. But don’t be surprised to see licenses plates from all over the Midwest partially because the same weekend the Iola Winter Sports club is host to the fat bike race, cross country ski and ski jumping competitions for young and old alike. If you haven’t ever attended the Lutefisk supper don’t let the strange cuisine scare you away because there is plenty to offer at the dinner. A family style dinner where you will be seated by hosts dressed in official red vests followed by waitresses in similar red vests. Lutefisk, cod, Norwegian meatballs hand rolled and made with care, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberries, lefse, draw butter, milk and an endless supply of coffee. Not but not least and certainly for most the top of the list for those with a sweet tooth don’t forget the endless supply of Norwegian pastries?
One can only be amazed by the vendors at the huge craft show in Iola Scandinavia Gymnasium. Admire rosemaling by local artists, fine craftsmanship of wood furniture, beautiful Norwegian sweaters or as simple as some of the most tasteful homemade carmel, to name just a few of the items that can be found at the craft sale.
As you enter the Iola Scandinavia High School you will admire the ice sculpting by local students or possibly anyone who would like to give the ice sculpting a try.
Whether you come alone or with family be prepared to enjoy fine food and pastries, good conversation an endless supply of coffee a familiar face from the local Iola Lions, the Iola Lioness Club, the American Legion Sheveland-Taylor Post 14, the Legion Auxiliary and the Iola Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce
The Iola-Scandinavia High School is where you will find the dinner you may have missed it this year but you can certainly put it on the calendar for next year. The 56th Annual Norwegian Supper will be held on February 4, 2017.
Written by Michael Mazemke, Chairman, Norwegian Lutefisk Supper