Lutefisk finds a following

POULSBO — Poulsbo Sons of Norway members are quickly discovering that the ‘fisk has a pretty large fan base.

POULSBO — Poulsbo Sons of Norway members are quickly discovering that the ‘fisk has a pretty large fan base.

About 350 dinner guests showed up Saturday to feast on lutefisk with all the trimmings during the Sons’ 5th annual lutefisk dinner. The crowd included many familiar faces from the North Kitsap area and a few who had made culinary pilgrimages of a sort to be there.

“It’s like huckleberry pie. Once a year is good enough for me,” commented Steve Berge of Port Angeles with a smile while being served at the buffet line.

Berge added that while he has family in Poulsbo, the real reason he made the trek Saturday was for the codfish dish.

“We go to great lengths to eat this dead fish,” he joked.

And Berge was not alone. Going up for his second helping of lutefisk, Herb Nylund of Quilcene admitted to an almost unhealthy affair with the ‘fisk.

“A couple of weeks ago we were here at the church for the lutefisk dinner, then last weekend we went to Port Angeles and then here for the Sons of Norway,” he explained.

Nylund added that he has other locales in mind where he plans to eat the dish in the coming weeks.

While the prospect of all-you-can-eat lutefisk had dinner guests arriving the droves, the event also garnered its fair share of Poulsbo Sons of Norway members. From the buffet line, to serving and even cutting and cooking the lutefisk, a strong group of volunteers make the annual event a reality.

“It’s a joint effort,” commented Doris Thompson, who was buttering and quartering lefse for the hungry crowd. “We all come together do to this. And we have a lot of fun.”

And much of the volunteers’ dedication comes from a strong belief in conserving and appreciating the Norwegian culture. Language, dancing, rosemaling and even Norwegian language classes take place at Greig Hall on a weekly basis and the lutefisk dinner fits in with that theme.

“It’s something that, as I understand it, the club does for the community,” explained Terry Loy Teigland between serving lutefisk to dinner guests at the buffet line. “We hope to make a little money but our main concern is to keep this kind of dish available.”