“Flavorless and boring . . . Finnish is the worst (I disagree! DD), Norwegian is pretty bad too.” – econjobrumors.com/topic/why-is-scandinavian-food-so-bad
While breakfasting with friends at the Urban Elk recently we discussed my article on tacos and why they were so popular with Norwegians. – thesubtimes.com/2019/07/28/can-five-million-taco-eating-norwegians-be-wrong/
In the article I had put forth the suggestion that Vikings had created the taco after sailing to and landing in Newfoundland over a thousand years ago. Around the breakfast table I mentioned that it was Indian Fry Bread, which spawned tortillas and consequently tacos. My friends just looked at me. I’m used to it.
The basis for fry bread and corn tortillas is corn, of course, which was transported back to Europe from the Americas. That pre-dated the European Union. My friends brought up the fact that lefse could be used also to make tacos and that its basis is potatoes. Potatoes also had to make a journey from America to Europe.
Lefse tacos? What could be better for a meat and potatoes kinda guy?
Lefse is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread. I’ve never had crusty or crisp lefse. Potatoes, flour, butter, and milk or cream are the ingredients. Lefse is cooked on a large, flat griddle like a crepe. Lefse isn’t prepared like Krusteaz “just add water” pancake mix. Oh, no . . . no. You also need special tools like grooved rolling pins and turning sticks.
I can just imagine Vikings sailing the seas with each Norseman waving a turning stick to rally their courage.
Believe me, I didn’t grow up eating lefse in Ponders Corner. It took a trip to the old country for that. Briefly I worked for Burlington Northern in Seattle during the early 70s. One day I stopped in at a small grocery store in Ballard (the Old Country). I saw a package of lefse and I thought, “That might be really good with deli meats and cheese added. It was. Back home I told my wife Peg and soon we were buying lefse and fixings and then lunching along the Tacoma waterfront. Lefsa is easily frozen. You can always thaw it out for your next smorgasbord. As a youngster I remember eating at The Viking on South Tacoma Way in what is now Lakewood. It offered smorgasbord. I didn’t eat lefse there, but I enjoyed the herring and sour cream.
Today we usually buy our lefse from our daughter-in-law, Wendy. She and her sister Christi and their mother Nancy make dozens and dozens of packages of lefse to sell, as does the Daughters of Norway (who also bakes ginger spritz!!!!) in the local areas. Our lefse money goes to Messiah Lutheran Church in Auburn. We’re happy, they’re happy, and other eaters of lefse are thrilled. My food tip of the day: Everyone should try lefse tacos with pork and sauerkraut.
Joseph Boyle says
Amazing. One more thing we have in common. I married into a Norwegian family. Not only do I love the family, I love their lefse.
So what we have is an Irish / Italian guy enjoying Norwegian culture.
Don Doman says
I am simply amazed! You enjoy culture?
Swedish lefse was invented to convey butter to the palette, and it can be rolled up without cracking like the Norwegian variety.
Don Doman says
There are two types of lefse? My Norwegian based daughter-in-law likes her lefse with butter, sugar, and cinnamon . . . so is she using a passed down Swedish recipe rather than Norwegian?
Thanks for sharing and creating a new question.
Dennis Olsen Flannigan says
Well, lefse again. Dang, and me growing up with my 100% Norwegian mom cheered when it was lefse making time in Happy Valley (Browns Point). And da krumkake, or for dinner with friends fish pudding is best.
So savory only Norwegians eat it. Other are afraid of the name, though it’s heaven on the plate. Did I mention naked little fishes from cans on rye bread with crusts cut off? Hm?