The following is an exchange, recounted verbatim, as it was overheard at the beloved Scandinavian gift and meat shop on East Lake Street: "Look, Lori, a gnome," said one woman, in a proud second- or third-generation Scandinavian drawl. "No, Deborah, that's a troll," came the impatient response. And they were both wrong, but the people at the counter were too Scandinavian to point it out. What these women were looking at was, in fact, a tomte. Here's how it breaks down: A gnome is a gnome and that is all—a small man with a big beard. A troll is, more or less, an ogre. But a tomte? Well, a tomte is a shape-shifter. This is no small distinction—and Ingebretsen's deals in nothing if not distinction. Namely, the distinction of the Scandinavian from all that is not. More specifically, the distinction between, say, the Scandinavian countries that cover their folk art in red and those that use blue. A cynical eye might spot the seeds of ethnic war among the shelves of Swedish this and Norsk that—but inter-Scandinavian bloodletting is so 16th century! In the 21st century, you of Scando heritage are free to buy the meats of one subgroup while admiring the tiny, hand-carved horse of another. And there is no better place to do this than at Ingebretsen's. Onward, brave Viking! (Or whatever your people call themselves.)

Location Details

1601 E. Lake St.
Minneapolis MN 55407


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