Fresh Fish and Shellfish From Scandinavia

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Northern waters are still teeming with fish, even if it’s not as it used to be. Overfishing of certain species is a threat to the sustainability if marine life, with the cold waters being more fragile than warm seas, and restrictions are being made on the most popular fish, such as cod, herring and salmon.

Danish fishing fleet
Danish fishing fleet

This brings in new species to try, and for the adventurous it’s a thrill to eat strange-looking creatures from the deep with eyes like huge silver coins, dressed in spikes and thorns.

From Mathallen in Oslo
From Mathallen in Oslo

These days. Scandinavian fish lovers are beginning to eat more humble fish, as the most popular types become more expensive. Chefs are doing their best to introduce new fish, showing us how to cook them, because even if people in the north eat lots of fish, most of us stubbornly cling to the well-known ones, despite other fish being just as delicious.

Fishmarket in Stockholm
Fishmarket in Stockholm

Garfish, shark, Norway haddock, whiting, ling, fork-beard, smelt, witch, dab and Pollock are slowly becoming household names. Even die-hard traditions are challenged – new fatty fish are being cured, smoked and pickled, which is a solace to people in other parts of the world who want to try Nordic way of preparing fish, using their local varieties.

Dish drying in Svolvaer, Norway
Fish drying in Svolvaer, Norway

As long as you replace them with a similar societies: fatty on lean meat, dense flesh or flaky, the result will be successful. And it’s also a necessary challenge to find new ways with fish. Even if there are fine traditions of fish cookery in the north, we need to reinvent: crisper skin, less overcooking, more spice.

Feature image (on top): Shellfish from Sweden

Fresh Fish and Shellfish From Scandinavia, written by Tor Kjolberg