House of Hegelund – Authentic Arctic Food

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Since the first Hegelund arrived in Norway in 1635, the family has adapted and refined both their own traditions and the culture they came into. When the 35-year old hailing from Denmark, Morten C. Hegelund, travelled north to Norway and settled in the area of Karlshøy, well above the Arctic circle, the event marked the beginning of a near four-century long history for the Hegelund family. Read the fascinating story about House of Hegelund and authentic Arctic food.

Together with the Figenschou family, the Hegelunds soon became one of the leading families in Karlsøy. The gathering of Hegelunds and Figenschous essentially turned into a sort of integrated social system that formed the center of local society.

House of Hegelund - Authentic Arctic Food
Kvitnes farm house

Related: Norwegian Food Traditions -A Living Museum in Oslo

The trading post on Vannøya
At that time, the northern part of Troms was already a busy place for trade and business. The Kvitnes trading post on Vannøya in the Arctic was established by Jeremias Figenschou towards the end of the 1600s. Kvitnes would become one of the most important farms in the district, in part because it was located on the sailing route to Bergen.

Towards the end of the 19th century, a number of factors lead to the economic weakening of trading posts like Kvitnes and in 1929 the family had to sell the estate, which then came into the possession of the Giæver family. In 1944 the German army burned down most of the North Troms and Finnmark regions in an attempt to slow the Russian forces at the border, and the house played an important role as housing for refugees. Today, the Kvitnes estate has been re-erected at the southern end of Tromsø Island and is managed by the town’s Perspective museum.

House of Hegelund - Authentic Arctic Food
Kvitnes would become one of the most important farms in the district, in part because it was located on the sailing route to Bergen

Related: What is Norwegian Brown Cheese?

While the Museum will never be able to recreate a living and breathing North Norwegian trading post in this day and age, the old stories of Kvitnes are kept alive with the help of volunteers, artists and others.

Arctic ingredients in old recipes
As soon as Morten Hegelund arrived in the Arctic, he started experimenting with food. Hailing from an educated family in Denmark, he was used to preparing his food not only for survival, but also for culinary experience. He started adapting and innovating his old recipes to fit the new ingredients from the north.

House of Hegelund - Authentic Arctic Food
House of Hegelund’s food innovation processes are led by Frode Klingenberg (left) and Erik Rosen (right).

Frode Klingenberg, a direct descendant of Morten Hegelund, has the same thoughts and ideas as Morten, only this time he is able to take advantage of how the food science has come in developing possibilities for preservation and innovation. Frode Klingenberg is the founder and CEO of House of Hegelund,  which goal is to become part of the food innovation industry with emphasize on Arctic food.

Related: The Norwegian Asparagus Land

House of Hegelund - Authentic Arctic Food
The cold coast of Karlsøy in North Tromsø region abounds with fish like cod, pollock, salmon, monkfish, and especially halibut (picture)

The Arctic kitchen
The Arctic is a region overflowing with ingredients, both on land and sea, and Norway being responsible for about 54% of the global production of Atlantic salmon and only 2% of the cloudberries harvested in the Arctic, there is plenty of room for innovation. “The Arctic is such a respected brand in the world, we should be able to bring this to a finish in our own region,” says Klingenberg.

Within the next few years, House of Hegelund will strive to become part of a market that works to innovate food production by hitting ingredients up the food chain, helping the environment and producing more nutritious food at the same time.

House of Hegelund - Authentic Arctic Food
House of Hegeøund 3 pack Gourmet jam

“In ten years the Arctic kitchen is going to be recognized across the world,” concludes Klingenberg, “and House of Hegelund will be the go-to company for quality ingredients and consumer-adopted food.”

Even now, you can sample some of the company’s quality products by visiting their online shop.

House of Hegelund – Authentic Arctic Food, written by Tor Kjolberg

All images © House of Hegelund

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