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It's lutefisk season! Could a burrito make the delicacy eatable?


It's the time of year that generations of Minnesotans tuck into a dish that's become synonymous with Christmas in parts of the state: the dreaded lutefisk.

The gelatinous Scandinavian delicacy of dried cod soaked in lye, brought over by Norwegian immigrants to Minnesota, has few admirers, but is nonetheless the main menu item at numerous church and community events held across the state in December.

Minnesota's own TV chef Andrew Zimmern is among the many detractors, calling it on many occasions "one of the worst foods in the world," according to WCCO.

It's unsurprising therefore that attempts have been made to make the dish more palatable, for instance in Rochester.

The Post Bulletin reports Pat Blum, the part-Norwegian owner of Prairie Meadows Senior Living in Kasson, suggested to one of his dubious teenage employees that the jellied fish can be vastly improved by eating it in burrito form.

He suggests wrapping the cod in another Scandinavian favorite, lefse, and then dipping it in butter before chowing down. He told the newspaper he too used to dislike lutefisk, but "eventually came around to like it."

The Twin Cities Daily Planet spoke last year with a couple of internationally-known lutefisk experts, Marcus Samuelsson and Minnesota's own Char Juntunen, who have their own suggestions on how to make lutefisk a success.

Samuelsson reckoned the right sauce could go a long way, putting forward his recipe of a mustard gravy to put with the "fish."

Juntunen meanwhile went for the classic style, baked just right, sprinkled with a herb mixture and then slathered in butter before being served with potatoes.

By the way, here's what happened last year when Minnesota's media engaged in a lutefisk challenge.

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