A primarily Norwegian type of dried cod or ling or stockfish (not salted before it is dried) that is soaked in changes of water for about a week and then "luted" by adding caustic soda to the water. It is then cured in this "lye" for another 4 days or so. The fish will swell and become tender. After this it is again soaked in water for 4-5 days. It has an almost jelly-like consistency and may be baked and served with clarified butter or coated with white sauce and served with lefse, in which form it is a traditional celebratory dish served at Christmas, at Thanksgiving among Norwegian-Americans and other festivals. 1 kg dry fish makes about 5 kg lutefisk. In its finest form, lutefisk has a delicately mild buttery flavour and flaky consistency. In its not-so-fine form, it is reminiscent of fish-flavoured gelatin. Lutefisk is associated with hardship and courage. In Bergen the stockfish were wind-dried 500 years before Columbus sailed to the Americas.

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