R IS FOR LUTEFISK
It's Food Friday courtesy of The Friday Chef. Our assignment this week is R is for Red, which, of course, is precisely the reason I am talking about smelly fish, Vikings, drain cleaner and iron constitutions. When I whispered the name of that most universal of all red foods (not Twizzlers, Ketchup!) to my boyfriend, he produced all sorts of stories. Stories about ketchup. Stories about Lutefisk.
The ultimate find on the Internet (so you know it's true) was the moving The Ode to Lutefisk. It seems particularly appropriate to toss you this tidbit today, because today Karma is the Norse God of coincidences. Today I travel north. North past Ithaca, St. Ignace, Christmas, L'anse, Skankee and a host of other towns to the land of smelly fish, Vikings, drain cleaner and iron constitutions. I'm traveling to the land where you'd better know the correct pronunciation of "pasty" because instead of a tasty meat pie, you might find yourself with the cure for a wardrobe malfunction, if you catch my drift. I'm traveling so far north that a single mitten won't do. My map requires the use of BOTH hands, and even then it's a bit sketchy. But be that as it may, if I have two hands, then I've got a map -- and I'm off to bring Mozart to the masses.
Anyway. Back to the fisk. Why Lutefisk and ketchup? Because, according to Clay Shirky (aka "some guy"), the most universal of Red Foods is a requirement for the proper consumption of Lutefisk.
To understand the relationship between aquavit and lutefisk, here's an experiment you can do at home. In addition to aquavit, you will need a slice of lemon, a cracker, a dishtowel, ketchup, a piece of lettuce, some caviar, and a Kit-Kat candy bar.
1. Take a shot aquavit.
2. Take two. (They're small.)
3. Put a bit of caviar on a bit of lettuce.
4. Put the lettuce on a cracker.
5. Squeeze some lemon juice on the caviar.
6. Pour some ketchup on the Kit-Kat bar.
7. Tie the dishtowel around your eyes.
If you can taste the difference between caviar on a cracker and ketchup on a Kit-Kat while blindfolded, you have not had enough aquavit to be ready for lutefisk. Return to step one.
I think my mistake was in using the dishtowel: you need to drink enough aquavit so you can't tell the difference between caviar on a cracker and ketchup on a Kit-Kat with your eyes open.
Perhaps blogger Tom McMahon summed it up the best: "I never understood how Jesus fed 5,000 people with just 5 fish, until I had lutefisk."
Happy Friday, all.
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