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20.11.07

Yes, it's all about the lefse here in Norway

Norway closes Minnesota consulate:

“We’re very proud of our roots, and we’ve tried really hard to preserve them,” said Shirley Hansen, another knitter at a table bursting with the bright geometric patterns Norway is known for. “Norway is near and dear to us, but now we feel like maybe they haven’t considered us quite so important.”

(...)

“We treasure the heritage more here than they do in Norway itself,” said Audrey Amundson of Starbuck, Minn., which sealed its place in history in 1983 by cooking what residents insist was the world’s biggest lefse, a Norwegian flatbread made of potatoes, cream and flour. (The pancake, 9 feet 8 inches in diameter, secured Starbuck’s spot in the Schibsted Norwegian Book of Records.)
And here it is, your moment of what the fuck:
The flood of immigrants from Norway began in the middle 1800s. At first, there were Quakers who arrived as religious refugees. But more came for economic reasons: A population explosion had hit Norway, followed by food shortages. The cold, wide-open, rolling land of the Midwest seemed not so different from some of the land these farmers had worked back home.
Of course! If by "not so different", you mean "completely and utterly different" or "not so different, apart from the complete lack of mountains, rock, vegetation, forests, coastline, fjords and moose. Oh, and not so much with the sami, either, but at least they had the Native Americans."

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7 Comments:

Anonymous S said...

Maybe I'm just ignorant, but: Norwegian Quakers?!?

November 20, 2007 2:53 pm  
Blogger suttonhoo said...

yeah, see, I keep circling back to this point, which is that America took in the folks that nobody else wanted.

including those with an unseemly affection for things like lefse.

(which, btw, I just shipped off in large quantities from a place called "Freddy's Lefse" in MN to my father-in-law. so I'm part of the problem.)

November 20, 2007 3:19 pm  
Blogger mrtn said...

As I've understood it - and by that, I mean "I checked Wikipedia", many early Norwegian emigrants were Haugianere or Quakers, some of whom were fleeing persecution. But they settled mostly in the east: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Illinois. The vast majority of Norwegian emigrants came later and were mostly economic refugees. They are the ones that went west, I think. This is also my recollection from my grunnfag in history.

November 20, 2007 3:20 pm  
Blogger mrtn said...

Suttonhoo:
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
to eat lutefisk or fried sheep's head,
The wretched refuse of your teeming fjord.
Send these, the homeless, bunad-clad to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Re: Lefse: Uff da.

November 20, 2007 3:23 pm  
Anonymous karin said...

The love of lefse is underrated. I myself have family that send us pictures at christmas, posing with "I love lefse"-posters in the background. Oh, and there's the lefsehalloffame.com (with categories such as "Lefse In The News"), where you can induct someone into the Lefse Hall of Fame as a unique Christmas present. As the site says: "This is the best Christmas gift idea since lefse itself!"

November 20, 2007 3:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karin, this is good news for a passionate lefsa-lover as myself! I had the pleasure of attending three Norwegian weddings last summer, and I ended up lamenting the fact that it wasn´t a single lefsa in sight. And I do not talk about the potato lefsa, I am thinking cinnamon, butter, sour cream and the lot. You out there, if you do consider throwing a wedding, please bring on the lefsa aftet dessert, together with the cake, cake, cake and cake. I should get hold of one of those posters.
Ragnfrid

November 20, 2007 7:12 pm  
Blogger mrtn said...

Ragnfrid:
Sure, you can put that poster up the day I move out.

Karin:
I...see. And has the lefse made the "news" lately?

November 21, 2007 7:35 pm  

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