You may think there’s only one traditional fall feast … but you’d be wrong. Meet the lutefisk supper, a fall and early winter tradition in the Upper Midwest. You can find these pungent fish meals in church basements, community centers, and unsurprisingly, at Sons of Norway lodges all over Wisconsin and Minnesota.

2011 Madison-102

Lutefisk chef - a very smelly job
Lutefisk chef – a very smelly job (note the plastic-covered walls – this is a smell you don’t want to linger)

Personally, and despite my Scandinavian heritage (don’t tell anyone), I don’t go in for the jiggly lye-soaked cod drenched in butter. Some might say it’s an acquired taste. I’m just there for the lefse. Rolls of it, piled high in pyramids on plates at both ends of the table. A little cranberry sauce spread inside or some butter and sugar, and I’ve got all the tradition I need.

Lefse! Now we're talking!
Lefse! Now we’re talking!

Read my story on the culinary tradition of the lutefisk supper on Smithsonian.com

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