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lutefisk n

Also ludefisk, lukefisk, lutefish, lutfisk[Norw lutefisk; Sw lutfisk; Danish ludfisk]chiefly Upper Midwest, Wisconsin, northwestern IllinoisSee Map

Dried fish (usu cod) that is soaked in lye water in preparation for cooking.

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  • 1887 Albert Lea Enterprise (MN) 16 Feb [9]/4 (newspaperarchive.com), [Advt:] Fish, fish, fish; we have white fish, trout, codfish, salmon, Norsk Sild, Lute Fisk, Herring, Bloaters, Mackerel.
  • 1900 Roland Rec. (IA) 12 Dec 3/4, A. Oleson & Sons . . . Lutefisk for Juledags Middag.
  • 1936 (1947) Mencken Amer. Lang. 215, In Minnesota and the adjacent States many Swedish terms are in common use, e.g., lutfisk (a fish delicacy).
  • 1940 Brown Amer. Cooks 896 WI, Lutfisk Feasts—Lutfisk, or lutefisk, is the Norwegian and Swedish term for “lyed fish” or stockfish . . dried in the open air without being salted, and then soaked in lye water for several days to prepare it for cooking. . . Lutfisk suppers are generally church feasts, a popular form of entertainment among Lutheran communities throughout the state. . . The fish is only part of the feast and after being properly soaked is merely boiled and eaten with oodles of melted butter sluiced over it.
  • 1950 WELS (What other holidays or festivals do you have? [Include church suppers, fairs, bazaars, etc.]) 1 Inf, swWI, Lutefisk suppers; 1 Inf, cwWI, Fall church lutefisk supper with lefse; 1 Inf, cwWI, Lutefisk and lefse dinner; (Dishes made with fish) 4 Infs, WI, Lutefisk.
  • 1961 Sackett–Koch KS Folkl. 196, Swedish Christmas Customs. . . Christmas Day foods were lutfisk, lingon berries, rice cooked in milk, fruit soup (made from dried apricots, prunes, and raisins), Rye Krisp.
  • 1965–70 DARE
    Qu. H45, Dishes made with meat, fish, or poultry that everybody around here would know, but that people in other places might not
    23 Infs, chiefly Upper MW, WI, nwIL, Lutefisk [ˈlutəfɪsk, ˈludə-, ˈlut-]; MN17, 28, Lutefish [ˈlutəfɪš]; IL12, 20, [ˈlukˌfɪsk]; WI5, [ˈlukfɪš]; WI60, [ˈludəfɪš]; SD3, [ˈlᵻutəfɪsk];
    Qu. H65, Foreign foods favored by people around here
    Infs IL40, MN28, Lutefish; ID5, IL30, NE3, WI72, Lutefisk; WI5, 49, [ˈlutəfɪsk]; OR4, Lutefish—dried cod soaked in lye and then cooked; MA50, [ˈlytfɪsk]; IL12, Lukefisk—Norwegian fish, chopped and made into balls.
  • 1966 Stoughton Courier (WI) 1 Dec sec 2 [12/2], Lutefisk, a dried codfish treated in lye brine and boiled in salted water, is served in great hunks with a melted butter sauce.
  • 1967 Arlington Times (WA) 5 Jan 3/8, On Christmas Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Sundberg . . had lutefish dinner at the Agnes Danielson home.
  • 1968 Hungry Horse News (Columbia Falls MT) 20 Dec 9/1, A complete selection, will (can) be found at B&B of Ducks, Geese, . . Self Basting Turkeys, . . Cornish Game Hens, Ludefisk, Pickled Fish.
  • 1981 Bly Letters 140 swMN, The publicity committee had drawings of a thirty-six- to forty-foot-long lutefisk (lye-drenched codfish—a Norwegian Vestlandets specialitet), to be about six feet high of aluminum tubing and green-gold cloth stretched about. Five guys, the chairman explained, would walk along inside the lutefisk at parades in Madison and neighboring towns. (This would show the flag a little: Madison, Minnesota, consumes more lutefisk per capita than any city in the world except Bergen.)
  • 1993 DARE File neIL, My . . grandfather is a Norwegian immigrant; both his parents . . spoke with strong accents. Naturally, lutefisk and lefse are familiar to us.
lutefisk + varr (Qq. H45, H65)