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 Lutefisk… The Heavenly Food…

               Over the years, many people have asked me “How did Lutefisk become one of the Norwegian’s National Treasures?”  Or, others have said to me…. ”Wow…it seems as if Lutefisk is almost sacred.”   And….still others have wondered how long Lutefisk has been around and just how did the Norwegians learn to make it?

Vel….here da story…

As you know….the Swedes had held the Norwegians captive for many many years…. making them do odd jobs like carving wood horses for their Merry Go Rounds… making Swedish  Meatballs… and many other tings that the Swedes would like to take credit for, but it was actually the Norwegians in captivity that did all these tings that the Swedes still claim were their ideas.

And, in all honesty, the Norwegians were getting darn sick and tired of having to do all this stuff for the Swedes.

And God knew the Norwegians were getting tired of this… and so one day, God came to St. Olav and said….”St. Olav, I want you to set my people free and take them to the promised land.”… ”I want you to team up with Eric the Red and I will guide you and provide for you the whole time.  I will put a cloud in the sky, shaped like a Viking Ship to guide you during the day and I’ll put a big star in the sky to guide you by night”.

So, then God said to Olav and Eric, “You gather up all the Norwegians and meet me down at the shores of Oslo Fjord on this certain day…and I’ll be there to start you on your journey”…

Right away, St. Olav said to God, “Ja…dats easy for you to say, but how in the world vil ve get across that big and deep fjord?”

And God said….”Olav and Eric… just trust me… you know that you Norwegians are my chosen people and I want you to be in the chosen land that I have made just for you”.  So, on the appointed day, Olav and Eric had all the captive Norwegians at the shores of the Olso Fjord….Then God appeared, with the Viking Ship Cloud and the big special star…. and said to St. Olav, ”Grab your sword and point it out over the waters”.   And, as St. Olav did that, the waters parted and there was a big path… all the way from Sweden to the Shores of the Promised Land.   And the Norwegians started off…  And, as you well know… the Swedes began to follow in hot pursuit… And just as the last Norwegian touched the shores of Norway… A loud whoosh… and the sea collapsed and all of the Swedes chasing the Norsemen were drowned.  And that’s why to this very day… Swedes are not good swimmers and are afraid to go in the water… in fact, they’re not even very good at taking baths.

Anyway, as the Norwegians started to make their way into the land…. they all began to complain that they were hungry and thirsty and what would they do for food and drink.  

And it was just at that moment that God appeared in the sky and told St. Olav.  “Olav…raise up your sword and holler SKOL..” and just at the moment, the ground was filled with Lute-manna, Lefse and Aquavit…  And the Norwegians gathered the food and feasted and feasted.   That night the Norwegians pitched their tents, lit big bond fires, and sang some old time songs.   The next morning, again, God appeared to St. Olav and told him to “raise up your sword and holler SKOL“  and sure ‘nuff, the ground was again filled with Lute-manna, Lefse and Aquavit.   So, so it was, the Norwegians continued their wandering Northward… and came to the Gubransdal Valley… And every morning, Olav would raise his sword and holler SKOL… and God would provide a whole days worth of Lute-manna, Lefse and Aquavit.   And after many years of wandering around in the Gubransdal Valley… the Norsemen began to complain… even though they had plenty to eat and drink.  

And … so God came to St. Olav again…and said “ St. Olav, I want you to go to the top of the Dorve Fjell (Dovre Mountains) and I will give you instructions… so then you and the rest of the Norwegians can spread out throughout your promised land.

The next morning St. Olav made the trek up to the top of the highest Dovre Mountain… and there God met him and said… ”Olav, here’s the 10 instructions that you and all the people of Norway will need”.    The 10 instructions included such things as how to make cross country skies out of birch wood and birch bindings… how to make Gammelost and other fine cheeses… how to how to build Viking Ships… God gave the instructions on how to Rosmal, and do Hardanger… and to weave fine garments.

God taught them to use the Rune or Viking Alphabet.  (At that point, he told St.Olav that some day, they, the Norwegians would be the first to visit America, and that they’d write on a rock in the land of many lakes and someday someone would find that rock and KNOW that the Norwegians were the FIRST white men to visit America.)  God also told Olav about Trolls and Nisse and the many creatures they would find in Norway… And then lastly, God said to St. Olav… ”Now I’m gonna teach you how to make Lute-manna, Lefse and Aquavit… heavenly sent foods that are actually all you need for long and healthy lives.  (God also knew how much Norwegians like variety... so that’s why he also taught them about cheeses, puddings, fattigmann, sausages and all the other delicacies that Norwegians are famous for. 

Then God said to St. Olav… Now Ole, (by this time God began to call Olav “Ole”… I want you to change the name of Lute-manna to Lutefisk…. Because the secret ingredient in Lutefisk… is the delicious cod fish that I have put in the seas surrounding Norway.

So… now you know the story… and when you enjoy Lutefisk, Lefse and Aquavit… You can know these are foods from God himself. 

 
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