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
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.