You have a lot of guts to want to try lutefisk! I can't get past the smell of it cooking. I have always called it the Yuletide attrocity. Blech http://www.hostfest.com/events/food/food.html
Here's the link to our local festival. I end up volunteering for 1 day during the festival. Tens of thousands of people come from all over the US and Europe to attend this Norweigen (and Scandinavian) event.
On the local scene, we have a great restaurant called The Speedway (which I should review for Roadfood) that serves Fleishkeuckla for lunch. I know the DairyQueen in Beulah ND serves it also. In Minot and Bismarck you can get FK and Nephla Soup at Krolls Diner. If you ever get to Grand Forks..try Widmans Chocolates-Home of the Chocolate covered potato chip. They have wonderful handmade chocolates also. The rhubarb desserts can be found at most small restaurants.
The jams,jellies and condiments can always be found at farmer's markets and tourist shops. I must admit to buying mine at the Farmers Market. I've become too lazy to make chokecherry jelly. And I'm also a Fleishkueckla snob. I like my mothers the best ,fresh out of the fryer...but I usually can manage to poke down a few in a restaurant.
I am not partial to Norwiegen food being that I am 2nd Generation German (from Russia). There's a large population of Germans from Russia here in ND. We have a unique regional cuisine that I've never seen before. It's a mixture of German,Russian, and Black Sea cookery. Thank God I wrote down most of the recipes that my mother and grandmother made. The youth today don't know about these treats. So sad! Most recipes are still made in small (and I mean small) town churches, cafes, and homes. http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc/outreach/activities/gfrclass3.html http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc/outreach/activities/gfrclass2.html
I can't believe I left out kuchen. My mother made THE BEST! I need to write down that recipe too. And Borscht..it's not always made the traditional Russian way. http://www.lib.ndsu.nodak.edu/grhc/history_culture/recipe/ http://www.prairiepublic.org/features/schmeckfest/gallery.htm
pictures of GFR food AKA:food porn to me. LOL The "wedding schnapps" was featured at my wedding. It's Everclear and burned sugar flavored with anise!!!!
Most Germans from Russia on the northern plains are not Volga Germans, but rather Black Sea Germans, and they have their own characteristic foods. None of these have crossed over into mainstream American pop culture, but three of them have reached the threshold of regional recognition. These are Knoephla soup (spelling varies), Fleischkuechle (again, spelling varies) and Kuchen. I don't know just why these three items have emerged as signatures of German-Russian cuisine, but they are the ones that appear frequently on café menus and are known to non-German-Russians.
Knoephla soup is a variant of cream-of-potato soup that has fluffy dumplings floating around in it. This is the ultimate comfort food of the German-Russian heartland in the Dakotas. Fleischkuechle are patties of seasoned meat wrapped in pastry and fried in fat. These are a main dish. Kuchen look like pies, but they aren't. The crust is a yeast dough, and the filling is a cheesy custard with some kind of fruit in it. Prune is traditional; I like rhubarb.