The smell of stockfish, seaweed and the seashore itself will stimulate your senses. The wind, the sun and the rain in your face are the same elements that give taste to and conserve the cod, turning it into stockfish. What you see around you is a landscape characterized by a vibrant and traditional culinary culture.
You see quaysides, fisherman’s cabins, fish racks, farms and pastures from shore to mountaintop. What we can harvest here comes from robust and well adjusted plants and animals. The sea is a pantry that has sustained people all along the coast and created distinctive culinary traditions all over the world.
On land the windswept climate has left its mark on the vegetation, but Lofoten too has its oases of fertile soil between the high mountains, sheltered from the cold north wind. The bright summer and constant humidity compensate for short seasons of growth, creating unexpected opportunities like our big, juicy carrots that have gathered sustenance from the sun 24 hours a day.
Because of its excellent quality, “Stockfish from Lofoten” is a geographically protected name in Norway, in the same league as champagne and Parma ham - a trademark under development for over a thousand years. It was the Vikings who introduced stockfish to the Europeans. They took the dried fish with them on their travels to Europe and bartered fish for other wares. The fish drying process is conducted in exactly the same way today, completely naturally with no additives. It is one of the oldest food preservation methods known.
The head and the body are dried separately, and before they are hung on the fish racks, the innards are removed, including the liver and roes. The liver is used in the manufacture of codliver oil, while the roes are used in Norwegian caviar. From the head you can eat both the tongue and the cheeks. After two or three months on the racks, the fish have dried enough to be taken indoors.
After the stockfish has been taken inside it is sorted by size and appearance. Stockfish has created close relationships between people and a culture open to visitors, to whom we proudly offer our local dishes. Stockfish may also be found hanging on boathouse walls, and at people’s homes where it is used as a snack for young and old and as the reason for spontaneous get-togethers on midsummer nights.
Whichever way you decide, you will feel, hear, see, smell or taste Lofoten. We wish you a pleasant trip, and a taste of Lofoten.