OUR BUSINESS: Norsland Lefse has been producing traditional lefse for nearly a quarter century, and is your one-stop resource for other fine Scandinavian treats, delivered to you from our facility in Rushford, Minnesota, a small town based in SE Minnesota, nestled in beautiful bluff country on the Root River.
WHAT IS LEFSE? Lefse is a traditional Norwegian food of the Christmas holidays, but it is also becoming a popular treat year-round. People don’t just eat it with sugar and butter anymore–they add a variety of fillings, such as meats, cheeses and various spreads.
Norsland Lefse is made with four ingredients--real potatoes, flour, salt and vegetable oil. We use no preservatives to ensure it tastes just like Grandma’s! Then we vacuum seal it in a plastic bag to keep it fresh for you!
Our products are available to you by mail order in just two to three days, using priority mail to make sure it’s fresh and ready to eat. Please call or place an online order, or stop in and see us in Rushford. We are located near the Root River Bike Trail–a pleasant way to spend the day. If you have a large group or bus tour, please call ahead.
Our store is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, but online orders are always welcome! Watch for details about our re-opening.
"To me, Christmas has been based on traditions. Mom’s mostly, but while she was alive, she kept every single tradition alive. Now, as the torch has been handed to me, I try to duplicate every touch she felt was so important.
"You already know I tried this year to make our lefse, after my granddaughter stood and said, 'There WILL be Lefse, right?' I failed. So I ordered it from your company. I just opened the box of lefse from your company, and while I am eating (testing it! Ha) a flood of the tastes and smells that came from Christmases long ago are overwhelming me. It tastes absolutely terrific! And, it will be shared this evening with my family.
"I just wanted to say Thank you. Merry Christmas."
- D. Thompson-Sorenson, Denver, Colorado
“Yesterday I received a most welcome box in the mail from my daughter in Plymouth, Minnesota. I am an old Norsky woman (83 years old), brought up in Northern Iowa on good old Norsky cooking. This lefse my daughter sent is the most welcome gift I could receive. A grocery store in our area is also featuring Kingle this year so have purchased some of them.
“...Thanks again for making this Holiday Season one to bring back old memories and good eating each day now. I don’t know for sure how to spell this next word - Biddah - It is the Norsky word for sandwich & that is what my meal (was) last evening–steamed vegetables, sliced beef & lots of butter all folded in a lefse from Norsland."
-- R. Thacker, Indianola, Iowa
“...You and your company have ‘made my day’ and also made the Johnson Christmas Holiday something special. With this being the first year our whole family will not be together, your lefse made it to Aviano Air Force Base in Italy in 5 days and in great shape!! Our daughter is doing her best to simulate our traditional Christmas meal we have had for my 55 years and will be hosting 3 other military couples. Being Scandinavian myself, a holiday meal must include lefse and you ‘made it happen.’”
-- L. Johnson, Inver Grove Heights, MN
The Origin of Lefse
The mid-nineteenth century brought a wave of European immigrants to the United States. This brought Norwegian pastries to the Midwest, which included lefse (Norwegian bread).
Potatoes were a basic food in Norway. Having no way to keep leftover potatoes, they used them for making lefse. Lefse could be kept for two or three weeks in a tight container in a dry place.
Old Fashioned Lefse
This is the way lefse should be–just like it came from grandma’s kitchen. Or it can be a new taste treat. Grandma's eyes would really light up if she could see what people do with lefse now–adding jams, jellies, meat, cheese and spreads–instead of just traditional butter and sugar, although that’s still the favorite way to serve it. We offer the traditional recipe, with no preservatives and no additives.
THE TRUTH ABOUT LEFSE ROLLING MACHINES
by Valencia Gaddis, Rushford, MN
From the July 2009 Edition of the Rushford Area Chamber of Commerce Newsletter, the “Chamber Buzz”
There has been quite a stir lately about the relocation and expansion of the Norsland Lefse factory. It was interesting to learn that the lefse rolling machines being used were designed and fabricated right here in Rushford by Jim Humble of Humble Manufacturing, a business begun in 1969 that was located at first in Jim’s home in Rushford, then where Nordic Lanes stands today, and later in North Rushford.
Humble Manufacturing specialized in the early wood and sawdust-burning stoves and furnaces. Jim came from a long line of Byboth family iron workers and blacksmiths from the Bratsberg area, so in 1984, when Carroll Bakken, Al Spande and Merlin Hoiness brought a hand-operated lefse rolling machine prototype to him, he went to work to create a mechanized rolling machine.
This more complex model was fitted with a roller that alternately rolled from the center to the outside of the dough patty while the platform rotated 1/8 of a turn with each swipe. This made for a super thin, delicate lefse round–just like grandma’s best!
Jim states that the original motors were surplus high-quality computer motors purchased for $10 each from IBM in Rochester. The rolling machines were built in Mr. Humble’s home and brought to the factory for installation, and for a time, he provided the ongoing maintenance for the equipment. He recalls visiting the factory in its early days when some maintenance work was needed on the machines, and the ladies would “whistle” him back to check out the problem.
Following the flood of 2007, the one-of-a-kind rolling machines were cleaned up and reworked by Norsland Lefse’s staff to make them operable once again.
Now...try out their breakfast lefse wrap specialty. You’ll be glad you did!