Lutefisk Tradition Continues in Minnesota 18 Dec 17

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Church halls across Minnesota are keeping alive a dying culinary tradition by hosting lutefisk dinners.

Lutefisk is dried cod that’s been soaked in lye. The Scandinavian dish was created as a way to preserve fish before refrigeration existed.

The population of lutefisk aficionados is aging.

Chris Dorff is president of the Olsen Fish Company in Minneapolis, the only high-volume producer of lutefisk in the U.S. He tells Minnesota Public Radio News that sales have been dropping consistently since 1995.

Among those who enjoy the dish are Count Roger and Carol Chase. They travel around northern Minnesota to attend lutefisk dinners. They used to help host a lutefisk dinner at their Grand Rapids church, but the event stopped as interest declined.