[Sca-cooks] lutefisk (highly offensive)

S CLEMENGER sclemenger at msn.com
Tue Jan 5 07:16:52 PST 2010

Speaking as someone who doesn't mind the "soapy" taste in, say, cilantro (the more the merrier there, as far as I'm concerned!), I suspect for some folks it is the taste, since I have friends who can't stand it.  For lutefisk and me, though, it's not any potential soapy taste, it's more the smell and the gelatinous nature of the beast.  I really don't like gelatinous things of almost any kind (even jello).  Just a personal textural quirk.

Dunno that I've ever eaten an Asian dish for which the meat has been marinated in soda? What is the reasoning behind that?

> From: adamantius1 at verizon.net
> Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2010 08:17:50 -0500
> To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] lutefisk (highly offensive)
> On Jan 5, 2010, at 7:22 AM, Ana Valdés wrote:
> > Lutefisk is a culinary abomination, dear Margaret!
> > Here in Sweden Lutefisk is banned from the modern Christmas tables and only
> > consumed by really old timers :)
> > Ana
> I'm really interested in the effect of the alkaloid on the fish, and many Americans are familiar with the effects of cooking vegetables with soda, or cooking Chinese or Korean dishes that involve marinating meats with soda. Now, while I can order Orange Beef from around the corner and within fifteen minutes get myself a nice mouthful of baking-soda-infused beef and remind myself that that's why it tastes so strange to me, and sort of compartmentalize the sensation [this tastes strange, but there's a reason, I understand why, I can deal with it, nothing wrong here, move long].
> It's not clear to me why this doesn't occur with lutefisk. In all cases the claim is that the alkaloid in question is rinsed away and removed. I can still taste its presence in Orange Beef and grilled Korean short ribs, but it doesn't bother me.
> In short, I wonder why people will simply ignore, as in virtual denial, the presence of a soapy taste in one food and make a fuss over it in another. Perhaps it's just an example of cuisines getting further and further from their foundations in survival?
> Adamantius

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