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Sorry no lutefisk...

sue zookie May 4, 2007 09:47 AM

But you will find lefse, waffles with sour cream and jam, strawberry cream cake, open-faced sandwiches at Cafe Tabitha at the annual Norway Day Festival held at Fort Mason this weekend. You can also purchase canned reindeer meatballs, fishballs, lots of Norwegian candy and other fine food from the many vendors there. Representatives from the Consulate (if I recall correctly) are usually there offering free shots of Linie Aquavit/Akevitt.
Here is a link:

  1. Melanie Wong Apr 13, 2010 12:04 PM

    San Francisco's Norway is coming up again, May 1 & 2, 2010. Half-price tickets are available through Goldstar,

    1. Melanie Wong May 6, 2007 12:12 AM

      During six months of commuting to the Twin Cities, my continual request for Norwegian food never turned up anything except a pointer to frozen lefse at Byerly's. So I went to the festival yesterday with considerable culinary curiosity spurred by vague recollections of Norwegian-American life from reading I Remember Mama as a girl.
      Adult admission is $12, kids are free. Best bite of the day was the vaflen (waffle). I wouldn't accept the pre-made reheated ones and asked for one to be made fresh for me. Very light and tender. Didn't enjoy the shrimp smorbrod or west coast lefse and the creamcake looked like a dream but was dry as dust under the thick layer of whipped cream. Most interesting bite was the fenalar, dry-cured leg of lamb, offered during the cooking demonstration. I checked with Oakland's Nordic House and they have it around Christmas time, call to reserve. As always, i was very happy to see Heidrun Mead. I've loved everything I've ever sampled from them. Also liked the Solo soda.

      Here's the slide show.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong
        The Dairy Queen May 6, 2007 02:35 AM

        The rosettes look pretty--like snowflakes-- all dusted with powdered sugar, and, as I understand it, are quite traditional--were they not good?

        I think that hot dog in a lefse would send the Norwegian-Americans I know into a major distress---anytime I've tried to put anything other than butter and a bit of sugar on them, I've gotten some stern looks. Here's a sample of "proper lefse toppings" commentary from a recent Twin Cities chowdown report:



        1. re: The Dairy Queen
          Melanie Wong May 6, 2007 12:07 PM

          The rosettes were lovely, especially since they were so freshly made. These were dusted with granulated sugar. I only got a small taste since they were part of the cooking demo. I almost bought some from the booth that was selling them, but decided I didn't need any more sweet, fried things at home!

          The lefse used with the hot dog might be more properly called a lompe, due to the small size and thickness, I'm told. It was the potato-type. Polse med lompe or a sausage with lompe is quite a common snack food, I thought. At this festival, folks were referring to the lompe as "tortillas"! In the cooking demos, one use of the drier, non-potato Vestlands (west coast) lefse was to make Krivaar-style roll-up canapes using spekeskinke and soft white cheese in moistened lefse instead of Arabic flatbread. It was interesting to try both styles of lefse.

          Edited to add: doing a site search, I'm not finding any references to lompe or polse and lompe. Seems like it should be one of the fast foods at the MN State Fair!

        2. re: Melanie Wong
          Ozumo May 6, 2007 12:29 PM

          Wow, the shrimp sandwich didn't look any better than the one for $2.99 at Ikea! Actually, it looked worse, and for $7. I decided not to go (just found out about a $1,000+ unexpected car repair I need ASAP), but I definitely want to check this out next year. That lamb leg looked great, and I simply must try reindeer meat before I die.

          1. re: Ozumo
            Melanie Wong May 6, 2007 12:37 PM

            Someone sharing the table with me said the karbonade was good. I couldn't get into the idea of a room temperature ground meat patty, but I will say that the topping of very brown carmelized onions on top looked good.

            The shrimp had a giant blob of mayonnaise on top. I'm not mayo-adverse, but I had to take some off. I did try it as presented, as I feel one should always try to honor the intentions of the cooks for a first taste, but it was too much for me.

            The fenalar ordered from the Norwill.com catalog is $48 for 3 to 4 lbs leg. I liked the flavor and texture, but you do end up with a mouthful of sinew. The chef doing the demo said that it doesn't need to be refrigerated after you cut into it. He just wraps it in a linen towel and keeps it in a cool, dry place. When you get down to the last bits of meat clinging to the bone, a traditional use would be to make stock for barley soup. A fusion application would be to make curry.

        3. eatzalot May 5, 2007 02:33 PM

          Sounds like a good event! (Consulates are helpful with functions like this celebrating national food and drink produce. They provide valuable information and sometimes subsidize.) I recommend canned reindeer meatballs.

          (Lutefisk! God help us ...)

          1. Ozumo May 4, 2007 10:04 AM

            Wow, that sounds really fun. I'm pretty short on cash at the moment, and would be bringing a 4 year old, does anyone know if kids are free? And do you have to buy the tickets ahead of time, or can you get them at the door? Looks like they're charging $10 for parking, is there any free parking in decent walking distance? If I go, I need to save my money for the food!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ozumo
              sue zookie May 5, 2007 09:38 AM

              I can't say for sure, but I'm pretty sure kids that age would be free. I couldn't find any kids ticket info on the website. They do have a lot of fun things for the kids though.

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