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Finding Minnesota: Rural farmer keeps Norwegian delicacy alive, attracting dozens every December

<i></i><br/>A rural Minnesota farmer keeps Norwegian delicacy
Lawrence, Nakia

A rural Minnesota farmer keeps Norwegian delicacy

By JOHN LAURITSEN

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    LAC QUI PARLE COUNTY, Minnesota (WCCO) — There are long-time holiday traditions across our great state and blood klub is one of them.

You heard that right. In this week’s Finding Minnesota, find out how a group of farmers are keeping a Norwegian delicacy alive.

“It’s quiet. It’s peaceful,” said Josh Moen. “You can go hunting. You can go fishing. The lake is right here.”

Lac qui Parle County is about as rural and laid-back as it gets. Josh Moen’s place is no exception.

“We are the fourth and fifth generation on the farm here,” Josh said.

Most of the year, Josh grows corn and soybeans. But on the first Wednesday in December, his farm turns into a klub factory.

“It’s potatoes and flour and a little side pork,” Josh said.

Just like lefse or lutefisk, it’s a Scandinavian treat. But it’s not enough to have klub, you have to have blood klub.

“We do pour in some beef blood. And that’s what gives it its black color,” Josh said.

This all began nearly 50 years ago when Moen’s dad, uncle and a few others, decided to make klub for friends and family. It grew from there, and now it’s Josh’s turn to feed his neighbors. He gets up early and he gets a lot of help.

“And Ole and Lena show up at what time today?” John Lauritsen asked.

“Yeah. We haven’t seen them yet but there are some characters that do come,” Josh said.

That includes Keith Dalen.

“I’ve been coming here for about 40 years,” Keith said.

He even brings his own mustard to put on the klub.

“Mustard. And a lot of people use white syrup and maple syrup,” Keith said.

It starts with the potatoes, which are run through a French fry cutter. They go through 240 pounds worth. A meat grinder then grinds them up.

After that, the potatoes are mixed in with everything else.

“Don’t go to the doctor for a physical, this week,” Josh said.

Finally, it’s off to the cooker for a couple hours — and when the klub is ready, the Scandinavians come running.

“Maybe it’s because we only have it once a year, in the winter, and it’s a comfort food since grandma made it,” said Judi Bohm, of Milan.

But this Nordic treat knows no borders. South African farmers, who are in Minnesota for work, stopped by the Moens to try klub for the first time.

“We certainly don’t have anything compared to this back home. This was a first for me. It wasn’t too bad and I kind of enjoyed it,” said Corae Van Zyl, of South Africa.

It’s a new food for some while others, like Tiffany Moen, married into it long ago.

“The yard is full of cars and vehicles. People drive to come and eat this,” said Tiffany, Josh’s wife.

And that might be hard for some people to believe. Love it or hate it, the klub club is here to stay.

“A lot of the older guys really enjoy it and now a lot of the younger guys are starting to enjoy it,” Josh said.

Josh told WCCO that most years more than 100 people show up at his farm to eat klub. Some drive from hours away to be there.

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