What’s that smell? Lutefisk season!

Olsens Lutefisk
Image from Hennepin History Museum’s collection.

If it’s November, that means that lutefisk season in Minneapolis is officially underway! Lutefisk is dried cod soaked in lye. Here in Minnesota, lutefisk is strongly associated with the region’s Scandinavian immigrant heritage. This can be clearly seen through the story of Minneapolis’ Olsen Fish Co., founded in 1910 by a pair of Norwegian immigrants. For most of its history, Olsen’s was located on 5th Street in the North Loop, but in 1998 it moved to its current location near Broadway & 2nd. The employee in this undated photograph is preparing lutefisk; in the background are barrels of the finished product, many destined for shipment to the region’s many community lutefisk dinners.


Learn more about the museum and its offerings at hennepinhistory.org or 870-1329.

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