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The Last Word on Lutefisk: True Tales of Cod and Tradition Paperback – October 1, 1996


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The Last Word on Lutefisk: True Tales of Cod and Tradition + Aunt Hildur's Excellent Norwegian Recipes
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Conrad Henry PR (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965202704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965202701
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,560,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Last Word on Lutefisk is a very pleasant read that explains in detail and with great color, and black and white photographs how the cod is caught outside the Lofoten Islands of the Norwegian coast, hanged up to dry, transported to the U.S. where it is soaked in lye and rinsed in water in preparation for the feast. The book is full of lutefisk lore and even tackles the inevitable humor in one chapter. There is an exhaustive directory to the amazingly many lutefisk dinners around the continent." "Legwold has already won some critical acclaim for his lutefisk book. It was named a finalist in the Minnesota Book Award (nonfiction category) and the Midwest Book Achievement Award (humor category)....

"Legwold walks through the cod cod fishing industry showing how this single solitary species of fish has become part of a legend for Scandinavian people. Even that carries a spiritual quality.

"All is not somber and reverent, however. Lutefisk eaters have a sense of humor.

"With his own 'subtle' sense of humor, Legwold describes lutefisk dinners here in the States and paints an American portrait of Scandinavian people that is ripe with 'characters.'...

"Being of Scandinavian descent is not important; not even having eaten lutefisk is irrelevant to what comes through in the text. Legwold introduces a tradition, people, and a way of life that may be out of the ordinary for many of us, all done with a delectable sense of humor. -- Wadena Pioneer Journal

"An often indispensible Christmas treat in Norway and Sweden, lutefisk has an all year round following in many Scandinavian American circles. To understand this fish you should read Gary Legwold's interesting book The Last Word on Lutefisk and try his recipes, or sneak into one of the many lutefisk dinners that take place around this time of year.... -- Scandinavian Press

About the Author

Gary Legwold is a Minneapolis writer whose mid-life crisis involved learning to truly like lutefisk. His first book, The Last Word on Lefse, tells of the good folks behind the fine tradition of lefse making. Mr. Legwold also writes about health, fitness, finances, and parenting for many national magazines.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Adele M. Trent on May 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought this book would better explain the lutefisk phenomenon.It most certainly does just that...it has the last word for sure.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the first time I've actually eaten lutefisk was a couple of years ago, it was a part of my culture as I grew up. I'm ethnically Swedish, but grew up in the Twin Cities, MN where the Norwegians had a very strong presence. And so- I grew up knowing about lutefisk, though not actually encountering it for myself!

This book is an excellent resource for the lutefisk-curious. It covers pretty much everything, from the history, to the context, to the rep (including if one wants to go really Old School and make it complete from the dried fish, including doing the lye soaking! I must admit it tempts me...).

My interest in lutefisk is twofold: as a part of the culture in which I grew up, AND because I am fascinated by traditional foods, especially food preservation before refrigeration. Lutefisk is a unique approach to fish preservation; most cultures salt and/or smoke. One wonders how the originators came up with this method...

There is also a decent store of (bad) lutefisk jokes and entertaining lutefisk anecdotes, plus a long list of where in the US one can find lutefisk suppers (alas, MA, my current state, has none listed though I know they exist).

Now: I did try lutefisk a couple of years ago. I was not an instant convert. It was OK... but pretty weird. I started with the pre-prepped frozen stuff, though, and probably would have been happier if I'd brined it a bit to firm it up some before cooking- which lesson I learned from this book. If I can find a source of the frozen, I'll make it again for the Christmas season. My husband actually did like it pretty well!

And someday, I'll get a dried hunk of stockfish and do the whole damn thing.
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By A. Chhabra on January 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really interesting to read about this Scandanavian tradition. Bought book for friend to learn more about Lutefisk and ended up reading it to expand my knowledge and discuss topic with her just before she went home for X-mas and have grandma make Lutefisk as is their tradition.
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