I promised that my next post was going to be about food, and while the main reason behind this post is Nordic Fest, a good portion of what I did during the festival involved food ... so it's sort of the same thing.
Nordic Fest happens every year to celebrate Decorah's strong Norwegian heritage. The streets are closed down, little houses for venders pop up on the main street, flags are hung in every possible spot, and store windows are decorated in Norwegian fare just for the one weekend event.
On Friday, I got off work early and spent the afternoon wandering the festival with Laura. We checked out the 'Viking Encampment' with craft fair (full of neat wood workings like spoons and bowls, pottery of various sorts, and metal working). The Vesterheim has a whole bunch of little houses built by Norwegians long ago, so we checked out the insides and enjoyed a slate roof. There was an art fair that prompted me to buy a pretty pottery cup, and we had the opportunity to check out a lot of the stores on Water Street that we never usually do.
However, I know you all aren't here to hear about 'what we did', so here's what we ate. Friday began our eating challenge, in which we decided we needed to make sure we tried every type of Norwegian food offered. Plus, I only took pictures of my food.
First was varme pølse, a sausage wrapped in lefse (which is a flat pancake-like bread made with potatoes that is ubiquitous to Norwegian cuisine). Next we had a lingonberry slushie that was really good. And finally, my fair favorite - rømmegrøt with rosettes. Rømmegrøt is a warm custard served with melted butter and cinnamon and sugar, and rosettes are funnel cake flavored cookies (which taste like funnel cakes because they're deep fried like funnel cakes). Traditionally served at Christmas, I was pretty excited that I had the opportunity to eat rømmegrøt three different times throughout the weekend. And I'm in full support of any culture that has funnel cake flavored cookies outside of county fairs.
|rømmegrøt with rosettes|
Saturday was equally full of Nordic themed awesomeness. Laura and I took part in the rock throwing contest (in which you hurl 50 pound rocks as far as possible), checked out more entertainment of string bands and vikings, and ate even more than the day before. We had delicious skekt svinek jott (pork chop on a stick ... which was the bone), vaffel (waffle with ice cream and fruit on top), nisse (lingnonberry ice cream), and another Norwegian supper. The first one was so delicious that we decided we couldn't pass up another chance at First Lutheran Church. The main difference was carrots instead of green beans and boiled potatoes instead of mashed ... so I won't make you drool more by walking you through the delicious eats again. We also tried lutefisk, the famed fish of Norwegian lore. While we didn't partake in the eating contest, we tried the gelatinous goo that was drowning in butter. It's not terrible, but it's not delicious ... completely deserving of all it's jokes.
|pork chop on a stick!|
|Norwegian Dinner No. 2|
With an uff-da to finish the weekend, I'm glad to say we accomplished our eating goals, and I feel pretty good about the level of commitment I gave to Nordic Fest. Undaunted conviction to Nordic ways, and to the Decorah lifestyle of Eat the Butter and Go Dancing. Mange takk, Decorah.