In Focus: Harmony Food Co-op in Bemidji Hosts Lefse-Making Class
Harmony Food Co-op in Bemidji offers a range of workshops and events covering gardening, nutrition, and everyday cooking each month. This past Wednesday, students got learn how to make lefse, the traditional Norwegian flatbread that’s commonly served around the holidays.
The co-op has been hosting classes in Bemidji for many years, and those classes have remained popular with participants. With the holiday season underway, a 101 class on making lefse came around at just the right time.
“[Harmony has] had a few different spaces and I know they did classes over on the 3rd Street location, and that location’s a really small store and that was really popular back then, too,” said Jessica Mahlberg, Harmony’s Marketing Manager.
According to Mahlberg, the class is a learning environment and a safe space for people who are trying new things.
“Come together and just like, build connections with everyone. We believe that everyone has something to teach and then something to learn from one another,” explained Mahlberg. “[You] become comfortable with making unique recipes. A lot of times people are kind of intimidated by, say, making like a sushi class or something like that. It makes them more comfortable and want to cook more.”
Harmony’s lefse class in particular was in demand. The class was filled within the first week of when the date and sign-up sheet were posted.
“First year that we did this, we had it out and it was filled up within the first week,” said class instructor Debbie Rentz. “And last year it filled up really quickly and this year it did, too, so people are interested in making lefse.”
The class provides a hands-on learning environment, and students get the chance to make lefse and taste it themselves to make sure it’s what they want to eat.
“I think they’ve enjoyed learning how to make the lefse and learning how to make the products that that were teaching about,” said Rentz. “I try to make sure that it’s interactive so that they get a chance to try rolling it out and turning it over and and making it to their taste as well.”
More information on the classes hosted at Harmony Food Co-op can be found on their website.