Lutefisk: Like it or not, it’s here to stay

On any given weekend across Minnesota, Iowa or the Dakotas, Lutefisk lovers can find a church somewhere that is celebrating the much-maligned Scandinavian dish. And to Advent Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, Saturday, Nov. 10, at 4 and 6 p.m. is expected to be just that — the featured attraction for what leaders are pleased is an annual event.

Gary Severson and Linda Rud, both of Maple Grove, dress their part as Inga and Lars as they tell Pastor Morrie Wee at Advent Lutheran Church about the annual Luterfisk Dinner, set for Saturday, Nov. 10, at Advent.

Gary Severson and Linda Rud, both of Maple Grove, dress their part as Inga and Lars as they tell Pastor Morrie Wee at Advent Lutheran Church about the annual Luterfisk Dinner, set for Saturday, Nov. 10, at Advent.

“Last year was just wonderful,” said Karen Coddington, event organizer, “But even though we sold out we’re really just catching up to the other churches like Mount Olivet in Minneapolis who has been doing their dinner for over 50 years so there are definitely lots of people out there who love Lutefisk.”

Imagine, 50 years of Lutefisk? Despite its reputation, most agree that it is all in how Lutefisk is prepared. A white codfish that is air-dried and then soaked in lye through various stages over several weeks before it is baked for just 20 minutes and served buffet style with other Scandinavian favorites.

“The preparation for the dinner is incredible and involves lots of church members,” Coddington said. “Including adding special Scandinavian elements and naming the event ‘The Luter-fisk’ to help set us apart from all the other dinners out there.”

While Lutefisk will be the featured attraction on the menu that is expected to bring over 350 people this year to Advent, organizers insist that there will be plenty of other options for those who may not be partial to the acquired taste.

The buffet menu also includes Swedish meatballs, Lefse, potatoes and gravy, rutabagas, Rommegrot, Krem and several Scandinavian desert delicacies.

“Around here, Lutefisk is not so strange,” added Coddington. “Besides, it gives us a great opportunity to invite the community in for fun and fellowship at our church.”

For more information or for tickets call the Luterfisk Hot Line at 763-273-7201 or visit the church website at adventlutheran.com.

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