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Lutefisk:

Thanksgiving isn’t the only traditional fall feast. For those of Scandinavian descent, fall also means lutefisk suppers. Writer Eric Dregni tells us the story behind this famously pungent fish.

Eric Dregni is the author of several books, including Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America and In Cod We Trust.

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Patriotic Potatoes:

Hearty roots, squashes, and tubers are among the staples of winter meals in Wisconsin. Commentator Eric Dregni considers potatoes part of his Norwegian heritage. Today, commentator Eric Dregni tells us how potatoes went from famine food in the 19th century to a patriotic weapon in the 20th.

Commentator Eric Dregni teaches English at Concordia University in St. Paul. He’s the author of several books including Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America.

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Jello Salad:

Alongside the turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberries is another Midwestern holiday tradition: jello salad. If you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to be served on today, you might like to know something about their origin. Commentator Eric Dregni shares the Scandinavian tradition of these quivering salads.

Eric Dregni is an assistant professor of English at Concordia University in St. Paul. He’s the author of several books including Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America.

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Leif Erikson Day:

Monday is Columbus Day, when we celebrate the discoveries of Christopher Columbus. But ask some Scandinavians which European really discovered America, and they’ll tell you that Columbus arrived 500 years too late for that honor. Commentator Eric Dregni tells us about the Nordic explorer behind Sunday’s celebration of Leif Erikson Day.

Commentator Eric Dregni is an assistant professor of English at Concordia University in St. Paul. He’s the author of several books including the Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America.

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Coffee Break:

French writer Balzac once wrote that “Coffee is a great power in my life.” Wisconsin’s Scandinavian immigrants could relate, bringing their prodigious thirst for the morning brew with them. But while coffee has been around for centuries, taking a daily break to drink it is a more recent development. Commentator Eric Dregni tells us the origins of the summer Coffee Break Festival in Stoughton.

Commentator Eric Dregni is an assistant professor of English at Concordia University in St. Paul. He’s the author of several books including Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America.

Image courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society Image #23363

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Wisconsin Co-ops:

When you turn on your air conditioning this summer or pick up some cheese for a picnic, a cooperative business may be behind it. Cooperatives have played an important part in Wisconsin’s history. Whenever residents couldn’t get what they needed, they’d form cooperative businesses to do it themselves. Commentator Eric Dregni shares their revolutionary story.

Commentator Eric Dregni is an assistant professor of English at Concordia University in St. Paul. He’s the author of several books including the Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America.

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Celebrating St. Urho:

We all know St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow, March 17th. But the Finns have a patron saint as well. His name is St. Urho and today is his day. It’s a Finnish-American holiday that conveniently upstages the Irish and their green beer by one day. Commentator Eric Dregni tells us how to properly celebrate St. Urho.

Eric Dregni is assistant professor of English at Concordia University in St. Paul. He’s the author of several books including the Vikings in the Attic: In Search of Nordic America.

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