Lefse Story

This Lefse Story is all about an old traditional food of Norway.Ones again, The Norwegians have given one of their old favorite foods many names.

In Norway, it is called lopse, lefse, lefsa, lumpe, kline, klinge, and more. Sometimes it is shaped thin and soft, and sometimes it is thick and soft and would you believe some varieties are thin and crisp.

It is a wafer-like bread, and sometimes it is not, but it is always flat and round.

Some types of lefse are made with potatoes and some are not. Because there are so many interesting varieties, I will give you recipes for some of them.

More of my lefse story... In Norway, certain kinds of lefse can be purchased at the supermarket, but even today, Norwegian homemakers bake them at home. In the United States, with over 53 million Norwegian descendants, the lefse-baking tradition is very strong.

Now-days, lefse is usually baked on an electric griddle, "lefse baker" (takke in Norwegian). But in "the olden days" all flat-baked foods (flatbakst), such as lefse, småbrød (also called rømmebrød/sour cream bread because it is made with sour cream), and flatbrød, was made in Eldhuset, a special, separate house utilized for preparing foods.

If you don't have a griddle, you can shape a smaller size lefse and bake them in an iron frying pan.

Thin, crisp lefse (without potatoes), småbrød and flatbrød, require no refrigeration, but must be kept dry in in an airtight container. The reason I say thin is because there is a thicker soft variety that require refrigeration, which is called Hardangerlefse or Nordlandslefse.

To prepare crisp lefse (without potatoes) for serving, you dunk it into a bowl of luke warm water and place it between paper towels or dish towels to absorb excess water and wait a few minutes.

Spread lefse with butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on it. To serve it, roll it up and cut it at an angle. (see picture above)

All lefse varieties can easily be used to make appetizers and sandwiches. Fill them with your favorite cheeses or spreads, salads, seafoods or meats.

Potato lefse lend itself well for making lovely canapés, because of its pliability and large surface.

Spread colorful fillings directly on the surface and roll them. Cut it into 1-1/2 to 2" size pieces and stick a tooth pick through it to hold it together.

Top if off with a black or green olive, grape tomato, green or red pepper and maybe a small sprig of parsley. Use color and shapes to make an appetizing treat.

Most fillings can be used without interfering with the flavor of lefse. It is very easy to use to make an attractive and delicious presentation.

Potato lefse is a favorite with lutefisk lovers. "Can't have lutefisk without lefse". My cousin Adora has a great recipe for this one.

Nordlandslefse is about 1/4 inch thick and is a soft variety. You don't need a griddle to bake this one. It can be baked on a cookie sheet in the oven or on a iron frying pan.

This variety can be served many ways as well. You can spread it with butter and sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top. It requires refrigeration and will freeze well. Believe me, it is so delicious you can dream about it, at least I do.

Hope you enjoyed my little lefse story.

Foods of Norway
Potato Lefse Recipe

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