Reporter Ryan Juntti Tries Lutefisk for the First Time

Ryan Juntti
December 06, 2017 08:32 PM

DULUTH - The annual Lutefisk, Salmon, Meatball Dinner was held at the First Lutheran Church in Duluth on Wednesday. The doors opened at noon and within 20 minutes, volunteers served over 180 hungry guests. 

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Folks came from all over to get their fix of this ethnic delicacy and other foods like meatballs, cole slaw, and pickled beets.

"I've been waiting many weeks for this day. I never miss it if I can possibly get here," said Morris Moen, a Two Harbors community member. He has been coming to the dinner for the last five or six years, and is a big fan of lutefisk.

"I only have lutefisk because I can have meatballs any day of the week, and salmon too," said Moen. 

Pat Gray drove all the way from Springfield, Missouri to be at the dinner. She was born in Duluth, and comes whenever she can.

"I keep doing it because I love it up here," said Gray.

Not everybody was a fan of the lutefisk, but instead are there more for the tradition.

"It's just kind of part of me I guess," said Elijah Jensen, whose family has helped out with other lutefisk dinners in the past.    

This year, there was a special significance for the event. It is the 100th Anniversary of Finland's Independence.

"We just thought it would be a good time to kind of combine these two things together because we always do our lutefisk meal on the first Wednesday of December," said Bea Ojakangas, who has been volunteering at the event for over 30 years.    

Each year one lucky reporter "volunteers" to try the meal, and this year it was Ryan Juntti's turn.  From the look on his face, that spoonful is not something he will soon forget.

If you are looking for another opportunity to enjoy Lutefisk, the Lutefisk Dinner at the Grace Lutheran Church in Hermantown will be held on Friday, December 8. It's all-you-can-eat lutefisk, meatballs, green bean casserole, potatoes, lefse and dessert. Tickets available at the door! Adults $14, Children $5

There is also an Annual Lutefisk & Swedish Meatball Dinner at the American Legion Post 109 in Two Harbors. This dinner will be on Wednesday and Thursday, December 13 and 14 from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Cost is $15 for the Lutefisk Dinner, $13 for the Swedish Meatball Dinner.


Ryan Juntti

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