Food – Norway

“Lefse is a Norwegian food…it looks basically like a tortilla. Um but you don’t eat it with the same stuff you’d eat with a tortilla. It’s thinner, and like bendier and softer and you put um…well mine I kinda like to put butter and sugar on it and roll it up into a tube basically and eat it but people put different stuff on it. It’s not the same things you’d put on a tortilla at all. It doesn’t matter when you eat it. In my family, my uncles make it and they bring it to family gatherings so there’s like a lot of it then and it’s just out like all day. We’re kind of a snacky kind of family so people bring lots of stuff like different bars and things and we’d eat it between meals and when we’re just kinda hangin’ out but it’s also out during meals as well. You basically take ten pounds of potatoes and you boil them and then you put them all through a ricer which is kinda like a cylinder with holes on the bottom and you have a round thing that you push the potatoes down with and then the potatoes go down the holes so they’re kinda stringy but they don’t go into long strings ‘cause they break. You know, it looks like rice ‘cause they’re short little strings of potatoes and, basically rice-sized. And then you mix in cream and I think butter and then a little bit of flour but not very much at all. And then my Uncle John says you have to let it sit over night but my Uncle Paul says you just have to let it get to room temperature and then you um make it into little balls. So then you take the little balls and put it on this big round pastry board that’s covered with a pastry cloth and then you take a rolling pin and you roll it out really thin and and then there’s this big flat stick that’s used to get the lefse off the pastry cloth. And then you put it on the lefse griddle and you leave it there but I mean, not for very long.”

Sarah says that her family doesn’t usually make it because of the difficulty in making them but her uncles would bring them to family gatherings so it would be something special that their family can look forward to and at the same time, celebrate their Norwegian identity by eating traditional Norwegian foods. It seems like the recipe for lefse is pretty much the same but how it’s eaten and what it’s served with varies from family to family and from person to person.

One can find more information on lefse in the following article:

Ojakangas, Beatrice. “Norwegian Potato Flatbread”. The Great Scandinavian Baking Book. U.

Minnesota Press: 1999. Page 56-57.