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Also ludefisk, lukefisk, lutefish, lutfisk[Norw lutefisk; Sw lutfisk; Danish ludfisk]chiefly Upper Midwest, Wisconsin, northwestern Illinois See 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 /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.