Lefse: A Norwegian Treat in Minnesota

After our quick trip to Iowa, we headed north to Minnesota to stay with Scott’s friends Eric & Katheryn for a few nights and explore a little bit of the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Over dinner our first night, we talked about our habit of tasting regional specialties of the areas we visit, and Katheryn said, “You have to try lefse!”

Well…okay!

What Is It?

We had never heard of lefse. Since we’re betting a good number of our readers haven’t heard of it either, we went to the all-knowing Wikipedia to give us a good explanation.

Lefse is a traditional soft, Norwegian flatbread…made out of potato, milk or cream (or sometimes lard) and flour, and cooked on a griddle…There are many ways of flavoring lefse. The most common is adding butter to the lefse and rolling it up. Scandinavian-American variations include rolling it with a thin layer of peanut butter and sugar, with butter and white or brown sugar, with butter and corn syrup, or with ham and eggs.

Does it sound like a tortilla to you, too?

Our Taste

When we visited the local farmers’ market in our hosts’ town, we spotted a booth selling lefse and Katheryn was nice enough to buy us one to try.

The version we tasted was pretty simple. It was the basic flatbread with butter and brown sugar smeared on the inside. We were advised to let it sit a moment before eating it so the butter & sugar would congeal a bit.

Thanks to the sugar, the lefse was pretty sweet. It was also really dense, which we’re guessing was due to the potatoes. Lefse definitely wasn’t the most amazing thing we’ve ever tried, but we’re glad we sampled it. What better way to learn about an area than through its food? At least in our opinion!