Norwegian staple is a fixture at holiday meals across the region

Photo by Tom Hintgen
Matt Haugrud served lutefisk and butter to a table of eight people on Nov. 18 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Barnesville.

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Pre-Thanksgiving to Christmas is the general time frame for lutefisk feeds in Otter Tail County and the surrounding area.

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Barnesville, on Nov. 18, continued its tradition of serving lutefisk one week before Thanksgiving. This meal is served family style.

In Barnesville, at the church, a person can have seconds and even thirds on lutefisk, lefse, mashed potatoes, meatballs, gravy, corn and cole slaw. You also get dessert, but only one serving per person of pumpkin pie or apple pie.

This year the volunteers at Our Savior’s served close to 700 pounds of lutefisk. It’s not only those with Norwegian ancestry who eat lutefisk.

But when it comes to lutefisk, you either love it or you don’t.

This reporter’s next stop for lutefisk will be the Viking Café in Fergus Falls which serves what many consider a delicacy from pre-Thanksgiving until it’s gone, closer to Christmas.

The Hintgen family also has lutefisk at home, cooked by Sharon Hintgen and served with mashed potatoes and a white sauce, closer to Christmas.

Favorite methods for preparing lutefisk are placing it in the oven or boiling. The secret is not to overcook lutefisk. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.