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Norwegian stockfish and salmon more and more protagonists on Italian tables

ToItalians love salmon and consume it in restaurants and through other channels, take-out and home delivery, and buy it online, as well as in traditional outlets. Also of note is the consumption of cod – skrei is the best quality – which is called “cod” if aged in salt, or “stockfisch” or “stocco” if dried in the icy north wind on racks. But it is the same fish, the first to be desalted or the second to be rehydrated before cooking, which despite coming from distant seas has entered our food culture for centuries in infinite regional variations. Above all salmon is the protagonist in Italy of an unprecedented escalation in recent years, thanks to new consumer trends that want healthy and sustainable fish, and the national craze for sushi, sashimi and poke, the most widespread modes of consumption. It is a success that has brought to daily consumption a product once considered “party” thanks above all to the development of Norwegian aquaculture, one of the most sustainable in the world, capable of bringing an accessible product to market. and quality markets of 70 countries versatile, source of the precious Omega 3 and rich in noble proteins, vitamins, mineral salts, potassium, phosphorus, iodine and iron.

norwegian cod

A growing trend

Only over the past decade, the import of Norwegian salmon under the “Seafood From Norway” brandwhich represents the symbol of origin for all Norwegian seafood, has increased by 188% in terms of volume, according to data provided at the annual seminar organized in June in Milan by Norwegian Seafood Council in the presence ofAmbassador of the Kingdom of Norway, Joan Vibe and representatives of industry, retail and Horeca and fishmongers. All consumption parameters are up: salmon purchase frequency of +4.3%, salmon expenditure per buyer +5.9%, penetration of fishery products equal to 73.1%. This dynamic includes all its types: smoked, fresh and frozen. The trend is also on the rise for stockfish and cod that have been loved by Italians for centuries and, again according to data from the Norwegian Seafood Council, in 2021 Italian families who bought it increased by 8 .3% over the previous year, registering 4.7. million consumers. Italy alone absorbs 30% of the best production, creating an economic but also cultural link between the two countries because in 1437 it was a Venetian navigator, Pietro Querini, shipwrecked in the Nordic seas, who discovered this strategic resource of dried food. with a natural process, unproducible elsewhere, already practiced by the Vikings who ate it during raids at sea. Querini secured an escort in the hold, on the way back, and let the Venetians know. So this fish has become “Italian”, even the regional pride of many regions, from Calabria to Umbria, from Veneto to Sicily.

The good life

The commitment of small and large Norwegian fishing companies

To celebrate it for the third consecutive year in the capital, the third edition of Roma Baccalà in the Garbatella district, a multicultural event with the participation of chefs and historians of gastronomy with tasting stands and moments of study. That’s where we met Gunvar Lenhard Wie, Italian Director of the Norwegian Seafood Council who, with the the first secretary of the Royal Norwegian Embassy, ​​Martin Anderstad, presented the cooking show “Cuore cod. Norwegian cuisine “. With the collaboration of the presenter Francesca Barberini, he spoke to the public about the commitment of small and large Norwegian fishing companies to the high quality of the product with absolute respect for the environment. Gunvar Lenhard Wie n’ did not hesitate, with his previous experience as a chef, to wear an apron and attend Vegard Følstad, personal chef to the Norwegian Ambassador, in the preparation of two dishes based on cod, then served to the Roman public and very well received. One was Norwegian Cod, made with potatoes, onions, garlic, black olives, chilli and parsley, and the other Stockfish with fennel, apples and butter sauce. On the website https://pescenorvegese.it/ you can find many other recipes.

    The third edition of Rome Baccalà Norwegian stockfish and salmon, increasingly protagonists on Italian tables

The third edition of Roma Baccalà

Cod fishing is a resource to preserve

“This fish comes from afar – said Wie, but the ingredients are Mediterranean: an additional link between our countries that we are proud to strengthen by promoting their know-how and giving Italy the best quality than other markets do not require”. Cod fishing, the first voice of the Norwegian economy, practiced in the archipelago of the Lofoten Islands, within the Arctic Circle, is a resource to be safeguarded, regulated by strict legislation, with a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach. total exclusion of antibiotics A traceability system also makes it possible to find information on fish throughout the supply chain. The fishery takes place during the first months of the year when the Norwegian arctic cod leave the cold waters of the Barents Sea and approach the shores of the islands to lay their eggs. No.In respect of seasonality, there is a system of quotas allocated proportionally to fishermen and fishing companies. The production process involves 100% natural resources and zero waste. “Nothing is wasted during processing – emphasizes Wie – the precious oil for the pharmaceutical industry is extracted from the liver and the entrails, mixed with non-GMO soybeans and other substances, become flour to feed the Salmon. What remains of the filleting, which is often done immediately on the boats, is also used by the government to ensure that the quota granted is not exceeded. It is also forbidden to throw waste into the sea. A curiosity: the heads are frozen and sent to Africa where they are in great demand for a special recipe”.

Gunvar Lenhard Wie, Italian Director of the Norwegian Seafood Council Norwegian stockfish and salmon, more and more protagonists on Italian tables

Gunvar Lenhard Wie, Italian Director of the Norwegian Seafood Council

Promote not only our products, but fish farming

Salmon farming in large aquaculture ponds is also controlled. But how do the fish live in the ponds? Often, the system is accused of forcing them into virtual immobility for lack of space and often in murky waters for their excrement. “Absolutely not – answers Wie – our salmon represent only 2.5% of the volume of the tanks, the rest is fresh and clean sea water. That’s why they don’t grow quickly but naturally. They are then fished after a few years, depending on the size demanded by the markets. It’s the Japanese who want them bigger because the whole Asian market is asking us for other fish like mackerel and king crab. Salmon processing residues are 100% used for food and the skin is used in leather goods and in the cosmetics industry”. But how do Norwegians consume these excellent products? “The culture of stockfish is above all – assures us Wie – deep and ancient. It is on the table almost every day, but with simple and not very elaborate recipes. It is usually boiled in salted water and then garnished in a thousand ways, sometimes in sweet and sour. But often our chefs import gastronomic cultures from other countries for this raw material. Also this year we are really honored to be in Rome Baccalà because it is essential for us to promote not only our products, but the culture of our fish. We know how important it is to know what we buy and bring to our tables: healthy, sustainable and at the same time versatile products, ideal for always creating new recipes”.

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