Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Lutefisk

What started as a joke has become a quest. Well, a sort of a jokey quest. My friend Milly is Chinese and I always make sure she knows how much I enjoy her food. Kung Pao Chicken da bomb. Feeling jealous that her food is so cool and delicious, I decided that we should try some of the food of my people. Naturally, with my maternal grandparents being Norwegian, lutefisk came to mind. Anyone familiar with this, um, treat? Here is the description from Wikipedia.
Lutefisk is made from air-dried whitefish (normally cod, but ling is also used), prepared with lye, in a sequence of particular treatments. The first treatment is to soak the stockfish in cold water for five to six days (changed daily). The saturated stockfish is then soaked in an unchanged solution of cold water and lye for an additional two days. The fish will swell during this soaking, regaining a size even bigger than the original (undried) fish, but the protein content paradoxically decreases by more than 50 percent, causing its famous jelly-like consistency. When this treatment is finished, the fish (saturated with lye) has a pH value of 11–12, and is therefore caustic. To make the fish edible, a final treatment of yet another four to six days (and nights) of soaking in cold water (also changed daily) is needed. Eventually, the lutefisk is ready to be cooked.
Now we feel honor bound to get a taste of MY food. However, around here it is not widely available (although I understand they do serve it in Ikea at Christmas). So, we may or may not actually ever try it. I think I could be okay with that...
Still, has anyone here tried it? If so, tell me all about it please. Let me live vicariously through you. Plus, I welcome any "I tried the weirdest food" stories that you might wish to share. I am not, as a rule, a very adventurous eater.

7 comments:

The Furtive Wangler said...

I was interested to read this, not because I have tried it but because I bought a CD years ago from a band called Lutefisk and all this time I never knew it was a real world for something. I have to say, it doesn't sound like anything I'd eat - I too tend to stick to more familiar cuisine.

Tara said...

Wow, not exactly a snack you can just prepare at the last minute, huh? I'm not a big fan of fish, but it sounds interesting enough that I'd want to try it one of these days. Plus the name sounds interesting!

l.b. said...

FW: The more I think about it, the more I'd rather listen to Lutefisk music than eat lutefisk proper.

Tara: I like fish occasionally, but this may be beyond my capabilities as timid eater :-)

evil-e said...

I will try anything. Unfortunately, I am allergic to non-shellfish (weird , but true).

I got the Alien hooked on the Kung-Pao.
Eric (Evil-E) likes spicy chicken!

l.b. said...

You have some less than usual allergies, don't you! Nuts, but not peanuts...fish, but not shellfish. You're a renegade, don't let them tell you you have to have those same dull allergies! haha!
And I loooooove kung pao with a passion ;-)

Librarian X said...

I wished for lutefisk on my birthday but I didn't get it. :(

l.b. said...

Librarian X: I am so sorry! I am a bad, bad friend.