Norwegians in America

As has been pointed out here before there are a lot of Americans of Norwegian descent;
“Norwegian immigrants went to the United States primarily in the later half of the 19th century and the first few decades of the 20th century. There are more than five million Norwegian Americans according to the most recent U.S. census, and most live in the Upper Midwest”.
Source: Norwegian Americans: History • FamilySearch

Maybe less known is that Brooklyn had a large Norwegian population in the 1930-50s with their own newspaper, schools, churches and shops:

Norwegian store clerk Torleif Brastad leaves Finn’s Scandanavian Delicatessen with a delivery, in a Carnation Evaporated Milk, for a nearby customer in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, 30th July 1946. Finn’s is owned by fellow Norwegian, Finn Morterud.
Photo by UPI/Bettmann Archive/Getty Images


NYC is no longer a place where you find any concentrations of Norwegian emigrants, but they were there early:

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Sons of Norway are still in business:

Used to hit the Julebord of the Minneapolis chapter every Christmas when we lived there. Lefse and lutefisk and lingonberries.



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A small community at the southern tip of Norway has many more recent returnees:

I am a proud Norwegian American from Bay Ridge Brooklyn!

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More details and pictures from The American Lista:

Apparently many of the people there are still holding US residence permit, or dual citizenship:

AFAIK some returned the cheque because it was signed by somebody they didn’t agree with.

sons of Norway in Poulsbo Washington … despite going there numerous times I didn’t realize it was a national or maybe a international organization? even the building looks from ‘over there’ !!

Sounds like an active lodge of Sons of Norway.

I believe there are a quite large Norwegian descended community in the Seattle area, many of them fairly recent arrivals.


Best Bos’n I ever sailed with was Ingolf Rode. A gentle giant of a man, nicknamed Tiny. He was from the Norwegian ghetto in Brooklyn. Loved that guy!

yes, even the museum depicts a lot of scandinavian heritage, a look in the phone book as well!, I haven’t looked lately though i’m there about every year now. it was more obvious in the 60’s-70’s when i came of age, no doubt before.

In the story of America - 8th ave in Brooklyn ( lapskaus blvd) is now home to probably the best Chinese food in NY. And Bay Ridge, at least north of 3rd Ave, is heavily middle eastern.

Family on my fathers side went from Norway to USA (Boston) back in 1905. A lot … kids to grandparents. Why even a 75 year old would emigrate then is still a mystery but they did. Many are still in the area, while others moved West. Fun… every single person in the world with our unusual Norwegische family name is related including those still in Norway. A while back we moved to Germany mainly for work but who knows. We might go back to USA to retire. :rofl:

There is still a fair number of Norwegians around coastal Massachusetts, related to the fishing industry, though this is rapidly changing now that NOAA Fisheries turned the fishing ports into poor drug dens or bedroom communities. There’s still a perception among the scallop fleet that portagees and Squareheads (Norwegians) have a leg up on jobs.

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I believe many Norwegian descended Americans eat Lefts and Lutefisk around Christmas.
But what about other Norwegian Christmas specialities, like Pinnekjøtt (Dried Lam ribs):

Or Rakfisk?:

I know that Brunost and Jarlsberg is available in Delicatessens where there are Norwegian descended, but what about Gammalost?:

A slice of Gammalost on Flatbrød, with a dash of Mills Ekte Majones on top tastes heavenly (to some of us):

Or Nøkkelost:

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Most of downtown looks like “little Norway”. Still the best bakery I’ve every been to. Lutefisk has never and will never cross these lips but I do love my Lefse.

Lutefisk needs lubricants, I would suggest Linie aquavit in sufficient quantities can make you forget how awful the lutefisk really is.

If you ain’t tried it how do you know what it taste liked?

Prepared right from the right raw material by somebody who know how to prepare it properly and with the right condiment it tastes very good:

Washed down with good beer and a few shots of Aquavit it gets better and better:

For Norwegians living In Singapore a “Lutefisk Lag” has been a pre-Christmas tradition since 1996:
This year it was held 08. Dec.:

Sorry I missed it.

For years it was a tradition to bring a famous Norwegian TV cook to Singapore to ensure that the local kitchen staff got it right:

Ingrid Espelid Hovig (87) is enjoying retirement, but rarely has time to sit still.

The last time she made the trip Frank had to travel to Norway to accompany her:

PS> Even Kim and Trump enjoyed one of her creations for lunch before the (in)famouse handshake at Sentosa:

PPS> No, not Lutefisk.

my scandinavian days are way behind me but i have heard of lutefish… that fact alone means at a minimum it was a staple when things were tough and it also means when things were fair it was made to be a pretty ok food to endure the ages… gawd knows, there were similar dishes prepared that have survived time, I like “sheep herder dog potatoes” from when the bask ran sheep in the high country of the pnw. … i’ve no problems with it and variations of it. … we don’t all frequent 5th avenue restaurants !!


If you are in PNW, especially Seattle, or Ballard, you should have no problem finding Lutefisk:

Lutefisk lovers could also try Madison, Minnesota, the Lutefisk capital of USA:

PS> This lutefisk is NOT made the right way. Here is how to make Lutefisk, with plenty of bacon fat:

Of course if you want to go the whole hog it is a long and arduous process, starting with Stock fish from Cod or Ling that has been dried the traditional way:
No salt or preservatives use only the clean cold air in Lofoten during winter and early spring.
(No artificial indoor drying in use yet):

BTW; today most of the 1st grade stock fish goes to Italy, with only a small part used to make Lutefisk in Norway (and USA)

The preparation of lutefisk for Christmas starts at least 3 weeks in advance.
The real connoisseur go the whole hog an even make their own lye from ash:

The rest is easy, but takes time and patience:

Sorry, couldn’t find a description in English, but translate fairly well with Google Translation.

PS> Today most Lutefisk you find in Supermarkets in Norway is made from “Klippfisk” (dried salted Cod aka “Bacalao”) that has been watered out and soaked in lye for a few days to get the right consistency for preparation into the Lutefisk we all know and love. :joy: