Wednesday, May 11, 2016
His Prairie Sweetheart - Norwegian Foods
One of the best things about traveling is sampling the local cuisine, don't you agree? I remember the first time I had grits, fried green tomatoes, and buffalo burgers. Cheese curds and hot dish and mustard pretzels. I now tie those foods to the places I was when I first sampled them.
Which is why I wanted to bring food into the clash of cultures in His Prairie Sweetheart. Savannah Cox is a Southern Belle. She's familiar with collard greens, cornbread, fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, friend green tomatoes, grits, and pecan pie. And Elias is a Minnesotan, half-Irish and half-Norwegian. He's used to krumkake, rommegrot, lutefisk, and lefse.
Elias goads Savannah into trying lutefisk, a Scandinavian dish prepared by soaking dried cod in lye to tenderize it, then skinning, boning, and boiling the fish to a gelatinous consistency. Yeah, sounds delightful, doesn't it? But Savannah is game to try it, much to the admiration of Elias's family and friends.
A homesick Savannah, in turn, introduces Elias to the foods of her own background and tradition, sharing her heritage with him. He's a fan of her buttermilk biscuits and fried chicken.
Their story is not dissimilar to my own, since I was from Kansas, and my husband is from Minnesota. In Kansas, we put ranch dressing on everything, and BBQ is sweet and smoky and takes all day to prepare. Peter had never eaten cole slaw, and his version of salad was just lettuce with a little 1000 Island on it.
Conversely, I'd never eaten cheese curds, didn't know what a hot dish was, and had never in all my born days seen pickled herring on a salad bar or heard of putting cheese inside the burger.
After more than twenty-five years of marriage, we've melded into our own unique blend of Kansas and Minnesota, of midwest and northerner. We enjoy the foods of each other's culture, and we're richer for having experienced them.
How about you? What food is native to your home place? Are you an adventurous eater?
Earl Grey Aficionado
Find me on PINTEREST
Find me on GOODREADS
Find me on AMAZON.COM
Find me on FACEBOOK