Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Food Wednesday: July 20, 2011

A slice of lemon ice box pie? Caramelized ginger cake? Some new genetic apple hybrid?


It's Lutefisk; and believe it or not it's a common holiday delicacy found in many Scandinavian countries and in part of North-America with large concentrations of "Nordic-Americans(?)".

Lutefisk is an odd bird of a fish.  It's typically made from dried white fish and is produced by soaking the fish in a solution of cold water and lye for several days. During this time, the fish begins to swell as its proteins are denatured (AKA cooked slowly, the opposite process of making a ceviche).  After its proteins have broken down the fish develops a jelly-like consistency and is very caustic (it may have a final pH of 11-12!).  To make the fish edible, a final treatment of another four to six days of soaking in cold water (also changed daily) is needed. Eventually, the lutefisk is ready to be cooked, and dare I say enjoyed?

If you've never had it before be prepared for a pretty strong taste.  After all in the Norwegian language, Lutefisk literally means "lyefish."

Eat good food.  Drink good beer.  And above all, stay classy!

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