One of the oddities of the world is that some traditional Norwegian foods are more celebrated and loved here in the US than back in Norway. I guess that isn't such a surprise when you consider the descendants of the immigrants who moved here are fairly close in number to those who still live in Norway.
Add to that, the folks who came here were much more likely to be of agricultural background, people who knew the value of nutritional food that could be made inexpensively and keep for a while. In fact, the only place that still makes lutefisk the old way is in Minnesota, and most lutefisk is imported to Norway from the US rather than the other way around. When you consider lutefisk is, to put it kindly an acquired taste (what's not to like about salt cod soaked in lye?) it is not surprising it isn't that popular back in the old country. As a non-Norwegian observer, it seems eating lutefisk might be a way to show how very tough and durable a person is.
They still eat it especially during the holidays in places where many Norwegians settled. It is commonly served with potatoes and plenty of butter (the butter is said to help it slide down the gullet more easily).
I haven't tried lutefisk, and thank goodness Oscar is not a big fan of it either.
The Norwegian traditional food that really warms Oscar's heart is Lefse.
He has even learned to make it in the traditional way and written a tutorial still available online.
(When the Minnesota state fair had a lefse competition, the now-traditional way of making it with instant potatoes won hands down. Perhaps the dehydrated potatoes have a more concentrated flavor?)
While you are there, check out more of Martin's magazine, particularly the Norwegian recipe section.
Anyway, the reason I am writing about lefse is that when the mail arrived today, it contained a huge envelope from Hanska, Minnesota stuffed full of packages of lefse, enough to put back in the freezer to have some at Yule, and some to enjoy right now. His mom Liz ordered it shipped as an early holiday gift just before she left for Florida this winter. You should have seen Oscar's face glow when he opened it up, and his excitement as he made a small plate of the buttered and rolled-up quarters. I must admit I enjoy a piece or two myself, but I make sure to tell Oscar it is his. I am lucky that he wants to share it with me on occasion :-} If it were lutefisk, it would be 100% his, all the time (and I'd likely ask him to eat it outside).
(photo is of Oscar wearing the Equalizer Hat)