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A Car Full of Lutefisk? Only in Minnesota!

Who would have thought that a couple photos relating to Lutefisk would be my favorite Facebook post of the year? At least so far…

Joel Martin via Facebook
Joel Martin via Facebook

My friend Joel is a pastor at a Lutheran church east of the Twin Cities. He and I went to high school together. One year, instead of taking some lovely ladies to the Prom, the two of us decided to go fishing instead.

Anyway, what is it about Lutefisk and Minnesota? I admit that I didn’t grow up here. I grew up out West and we rarely, if ever, heard anything about it. Turns out, for the uninitiated, that Lutefisk is made from dried whitefish (typically a fish like cod or haddock) that is soaked in lye for several days, turning it into a jelly-like mass. Having lived here now for longer than I can remember, I did try it once. Once. Didn’t care for it, and don’t really want to talk about it! Still scarred…

So, why did my friend have 500 pounds of Lutefisk in the back of his car? Not hard to figure out, really. His church is having a Lutefisk supper very soon and for that to happen, he needed to pick up nine 55-pound tubs of it. End of story.

Still, I doubt there are many other places in the country, or maybe even the universe, where a pastor would be driving around with 500 pounds of Lutefisk in his car…

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It turns out in Minnesota, and most other states, there is no actual law. However, the issue isn’t quite that simple.


Getty Images
Getty Images


One of the worst parts of dealing with winter is getting into an ice cold car. It can be so nice to warm the car up first. But in some cases, in some places, in Minnesota it is actually illegal…


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