what i wore to lutefisk

Every family has their unusual holiday traditions. My family's involves eating jelly-like fish. 

I am only a quarter Norwegian; my dad is half. But I was raised to be really proud of my Scandinavian heritage (I'm also a quarter Swedish) and that meant that every Christmas we go to a traditional Norwegian Christmas dinner where they serve lutefisk, lefse, potatoes and meatballs.

I love the potatoes and meatballs, obviously, and the lefse is one of my favorite foods (a thin potato bread-- almost like a tortilla eaten with butter, cinnamon and sugar) but I can't get behind lutefisk-- no matter how hard my Dad tries to convince me.

Lutefisk is cod-- soaked in lye-- and then rinsed. However, lye is a corrossive, and after the cod takes its bath in the lye solution, it has the consistancy of jello-- jiggly and all. I don't mind the taste, but I cannot get over the texture-- even if I douse it with the white cream sauce or ladle the melted butter liberally over it (as most Norwegians eat it.)

But it doesn't really matter if I like lutefisk or not-- it was a big part of Christmas every year growing up, and it's still a time for my family and some lucky friends, to gather and eat. And try a bite of the lutefisk.

Do you have any Christmas traditions? Or better yet-- have you ever eaten lutefisk?

xo, erika

hat: my mom's old hat
blazer/scarf: gift
tee: target
pants: joe's jeans (similar)
booties: dsw


  1. I am a small percentage of Norwegian but have never had to try lutefisk! Because my father is 100% Italian, our Italian traditions of Grandma's homemade lagane, ravioli, and sausage seem to win out annually. I'm okay with it because it's pretty delicious.

  2. That is so cool! We've always just done a huge potluck on Christmas. Pretty traditional!


  3. Lutefisk has always totally freaked me out - it's a pretty big thing around my area (lots of Scandinavians, I guess) but I've never had the "honor" of trying it, lol. Lucky for me I'm kind of a mutt with only a small bit of Swedish heritage so I've never had to worry about it. Also lucky for me, there's lots of Italian in my heritage which means I grew up eating lots of Italian food during the holidays.

  4. Oh cool, I love learning about other family's traditions!

  5. I have never heard of lutefisk, nor had the opportunity to try it, but to be honest... Even if I had the opportunity, eating lye soaked fish isn't high up on my to do list! I'm just trying to figure out who had the first thought to soak their cod in lye and why they continued to do so! But family traditions are always important and as long as there's one thing to eat, it's all okay.

    Also, your face is priceless with the lutefisk, I can't imagine a better expression!

  6. Bahaha! My husband's family is Swedish, and they enjoy having a traditional Swedish Christmas Eve dinner. Like you said, I can handle meatballs, rye breads, and Bundost cheese. But lutefisk, herring 4 ways, and fish aspic (jello) I just can't handle... I've learned to pack peanut butter! lol.

  7. Lutefisk is a family tradition for me, too! We are Swedish! :) But um, I've never actually TRIED it! #tooscared


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