Stockfish from Lofoten
Stockfish from Lofoten is dried and matured Arctic cod, wild caught just outside the Lofoten islands. The artisan product contains no additives or preservatives and is a result of a long, natural drying and maturation process – just as the Vikings did 1,000 years ago.
The Lofoten fishery, Lofotfisket, produces Stockfish between January and April every year. The word “skrei” originated from the Norse word skreið which means the fish that wanders. Every spring, the Arctic migratory cod “wander” from the Barents Sea to Lofoten to spawn. The fish is incredibly muscular with firm and lean flesh, which lends perfectly to drying.
Processing & hanging
The fresh cod is cleaned and headed after each daily catch. The fish are then tied together in pairs around the tail and hung on drying racks. Nature does the rest of the work. Wind, sun, temperature, snow and rain characterises the quality, taste and colour of stockfish. Therefore, every stockfish is unique.
Drying & harvesting
The nature and climate in Lofoten has, for centuries, been perfect for drying stockfish. The fish stays on the drying racks for several months until it is dry in May/June. The producers of this unique product use their experience and knowledge when they are considering the right time for harvesting – just like a wine maker.
Maturation & selection
The dried fish is matured for months, just like wine and cheese, to achieve the perfect taste. Every single stockfish is sorted based on quality, weight, length, colour, aroma and appearance. The sorter, known in Norwegian as the “Vraker” sorts the fish into multiple quality grades. The fish can be sorted in as much as 20 different quality categories, and it is only the best fish that gets the status “Stockfish from Lofoten”.
Stockfish must be rehydrated before it is used. Rehydrated stockfish is a pure protein product from clean and clear waters, with a unique flavour and rich nutritional content. One kilo of stockfish actually has the same nutritional content as five kilos of fresh cod.
Italy has imported stockfish from Lofoten for hundreds of years, where rehydrated stockfish is used for everyday food, feats and regularly appears on the menus of top-rated gourmet restaurants. Italians use stockfish in a variety of ways in both starters and main courses. Norwegians traditionally use stockfish mainly for “lutefisk”. However, Norwegian chefs are becoming more inventive with stockfish on their menus with their own take on this traditional dish, with inspiration from Norway and the rest of the world.
Environmentally friendly and sustainable
Arctic cod is fished according to strictly regulated quotas, meaning that healthy fish stocks are scientifically maintained to ensure that they are never overfished. The fishing and production is also environmentally friendly and leaves only a modest carbon footprint.
Protected Geographical Indication
Stockfish from Lofoten is a unique quality product, and was the first of two Norwegian foods to receive European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, in line with products such as Parmigiano Reggiano Mortadella Bologna and Aceto Balsamico di Modena.
In 2007 stockfish from Lofoten received a Geographical Protected Designation in Norway and with corresponding legal protection in the EU with PGI status in 2014.