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Lured by lutefisk

POULSBO — Just the mention of the word lutefisk can make stomachs churn, faces turn green and send an otherwise healthy person looking for the nearest medical facility.

But Seattle radio personality Randy Scott from 94.1 KMPS’ Waking Crew eagerly awaits his date with the lye-soaked Norwegian delicacy.

“Believe it or not, I’m actually excited about trying lutefisk for the first time,” Scott said.

The idea of eating lutefisk is like waiting to ride a roller coaster for the first time, he added, noting, “You’re excited but scared at the same time, except this time it’s slimier and smellier.”

Scott, who recently began eating fish after 15 years as a vegetarian, said lutefisk is not the only unusual cultural specialty he has dared to try.

“Menudo was one of those things I tried and I was like, ‘It’s what?’” he said. “Actually, it was pretty good.”

Menudo is a Mexican soup made with stewed red peppers, hominy and pieces of a cow’s stomach that are cut into small pieces.

While lutefisk may be most anticipated part of his journey to Little Norway, Scott said he’s always been a bit of a Viking at heart.

“When I was a kid, I was really big into comic books and one of my favorite superheroes was Thor,” he said. “I guess was into the Viking thing without even knowing it.”

When it comes to Vikings and all things Norwegian, Scott said one name comes to mind above all others: Stan Boreson — The King of Scandinavian Humor.

“Stan’s been a great friend of the morning show and has taught me a lot about Norwegians,” he said.

While Viking Fest may be Scott’s first Norwegian festival, it probably won’t be the most unusual one he’s ever attended.

“There was a place in Kansas called Greensburg that had the largest hand-dug well in the world,” he said. “Every year, they’d have a festival with a bunch of people standing around a big hole in the ground eating food on a stick.”

Last year Scott’s cohort, Ichabod Caine, ventured into the land of the lutefisk and was less than gastronomically grateful for the experience when a group from the Viking Fest Corporation made the trek to Seattle to deliver one of the many tantalizing tastes of Little Norway.

The corporation made a return trip this morning with lefse and another special dish for the Waking Crew. The radio station will be doing give-aways to promote the festival all week.

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