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Ichabod fails to tame the ‘fisk

POULSBO — The Miss Viking Fest Court’s first public appearance made a few retch.

But, of course, that was kind of the point.

To kick off the Viking Fest weekend with Seattle radio station 94.1 KMPS, which will be broadcasting live from Anderson Parkway today, Miss Viking Fest Lauren Hoffman and princesses Jessica Endresen and Crystal Henderson had a little cultural exchange with KMPS’ Ichabod Caine. The three traveled to the big city Wednesday morning to deliver a piece of New Day Seafoods lutefisk for the morning personality to try on air.

The event apparently came about after Caine had joked that he’d like to try lutefisk some day. The salt-cod treated with lye is a dish that causes joyful reactions in many, gastronomic distress for others and strikes fear in the heart of many a neophyte. Viking Fest Corporation Secretary Kathi Foresee said she figured giving Ichabod his wish was the least Poulsbo could do to thank the radio station for choosing to visit Viking Fest this year.

Long-time First Lutheran Church Lutefisk Dinner cooks Brian Edgren and Kurt Serwold also made the trek Wednesday to prepare the fish for tasting. But instead of boiling the dish, the pair had to experiment for hours the night before cooking lutefisk in the microwave to accommodate the facilities at the Seattle station. Edgren said they came up with a pretty good method.

“If it were an old Norwegian tasting it, they probably would have spit it out,” Edgren commented. “But it worked for this use.”

And as for Ichabod’s reaction.

“It sucked,” he commented following his first taste, which he apparently spit out. “But the preparation is interesting. I know for that reason, because it’s so unique, the fact that it sucks, that it’s so bad, makes it appealing.”

All of Ichabod’s morning Waking Crew also sampled the dish. One, Stephanie Rose, ended up being a new convert to the Norwegian speciality.

“She just kept eating it and she said, ‘You know, this isn’t that bad,’” Foresee recalled with a laugh.

Hoffman was also present in the sound booth when the Waking Crew had its first taste of lutefisk. This year’s Miss Viking Fest contestants had a pact that the ones who won the titles would sample the dish, so Hoffman also got to try the codfish live, on-air.

“I don’t think I’d quite make the cut for the lutefisk contest,” Hoffman said following the experience, while trying to wash the taste out of her mouth with a glass of water. “The taste is definitely sticking with me.”

Endresen and Henderson also sampled lutefisk later and had similar reactions.

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