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Hard to swallow: 'Lutefisk Challenge' spreads across NW Minnesota papers

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"It was unhappy," is how one Grand Forks Herald journalist described her first bite of lutefisk.

City reporter Charly Haley was one of the many staffers at the newspaper to bravely take a bite of the infamous, gelatinous fish dish as part of the "inaugural Lutefisk Challenge," as it's now called.

The Herald recently challenged two other regional papers – The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Bemidji Pioneer – to record employees eating lutefisk for the first time. Or, if they didn't want to do that, donate money to the Santa Claus Girls charity – the same concept used for the "Ice Bucket Challenge."

Click here to watch the Grand Forks Herald's video (which you should, it's funny). It's even made it on to the popular national media blog Jim Romenesko.

So far, the Bemidji paper has responded, putting together a clip of some staffers partaking. The paper is also donating to the charity. Here is their video.

The Pioneer kept the challenge moving throughout the region, putting the Alexandria Echo Press and Brainerd Dispatch on the clock.

All for a good cause – and of course, funny videos of people eating things they don't like.

Last month, pre-challenge, a few brave Brainerd Dispatch staffers tried it for the first time. It was "not at all like people described it," reported Jessie Perrine after taking her first bite. She wrote about lutefisk for the paper, but they also filmed her reaction to eating it. Watch that (plus photographer Kelly Humphrey's taste test) below.

If you'd like to see more, just search lutefisk on YouTube.

We'll keep you updated if the "Lutefisk Challenge" continues to move throughout the state.

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