Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wisconsin's Good Friday Tradition

 by Deb

Here in Wisconsin, where Catholics are in the majority, observing the Friday fish rule during Lent is serious stuff, whether we happen to be Catholic or not. Actually, our Friday fish fry is an important tradition all year long.

But Good Friday is our main event. That's when we really pack the church basements and taverns and supper clubs and trendy restaurants. And we are all going to order the exact same thing. A real honest-to-goodness Wisconsin fish fry. My mouth waters just thinking about:

  • Beer battered, deep fried fish, usually cod or perch
  • tartar sauce & a slice of lemon
  • French fries (and/or potato pancakes with applesauce)
  • Coleslaw
  • Rye bread & butter
We spend the rest of the year searching for the best fish fry, plotting the next week's target, risking dark back alleys, scouring the local newspapers for review clues.  Then we meet with friends and compare notes.

It's all about the journey.

I can't wait for Friday! Are you with me?

12 comments:

Sue said...

When I was in school...many years ago, I hated Friday because it always meant fish sticks. Still to this day I can't force myself to eat them. There was a wonderful place in Omaha Nebraska that had the best fish dinners. The batter they used was heaven on earth and with the creamy slaw and jacket fries you never left hungry.....hmmmmm Wonder where I can find a good fish fry here in Cedar Rapids on Friday.....

Mary said...

Okay, now you've made me hungry. Here in the South, where they fry everything, their fish fries just can't compete with a good, old fashioned Wisconsin fish fry. Yummmm!!! (Might have to go visit my auntie and cousins soon so I can have some.)

Ritaestelle said...

My Mom made friday's fish dinners when I was growing up unreal good - from flounder to lobster - it was all good! I still abstain from meat on fridays but it's hardly a sacrifice since I prefer fish to meat! Our parish has held Friday Fish Fries during Lent - I LOVE it!!

Anonymous said...

What about including hush puppies? Or is that only a Southern thing? Looks good!

Deb said...

Kay, that's the south. Never was served them in WI.

RosieJo said...

Honey, if you haven't had good southern hush puppies, you haven't been to a real southern fish fry! Us good southern Catholics like fish fry Fridays, too!

Terri Bischoff said...

Deb - since moving up to the Twin Cities, I've struggled to find a decent Friday night fish fry. For me it's not a lent thing - I love fish fry all year round! Last weekend, two co-workers (who live in Wisconsin) took me to a fabulous fish fry - in a bar, not a church basement. It was heavenly, though. I can't wait to go back :D

ev said...

We have a place here, a few of them, called Ted's Fish Fry. It's about the only way I eat fish at all and I adore theirs. However, I will avoid the place like the plague on Friday. The line will be out the door.

Dru said...

I haven't been to a fish fry in a long time. I may have to seek one out.

Rita B said...

WI. fishfries are the best!! Have had them in a couple other states and they don't compare. And yes, it's next to impossible to find a seat in most places for a fishfry on Good Friday.
Even my Virginia son in law loved them here.

Vickie said...

O....M...G! My sister went to grad school at University of Wisconsin in Madison. I loved visiting her and if I got there early enough...FISH FRY time! I wish I could remember the place, but it was superb.

Some good fish fry in Lincoln Nebraska area, too.

Aurian said...

Mmm this sound not familiair to me, though I do like fried fish. A lot of American traditions has crossed the atlantic, perhaps this one will too, one day.