With the Nobel festivities yet again in focus, we’ll be taking a look at one of the returning key components on the Nobel menu; Kalixlöjrom. Vendace roe from the Islands of Swedish Lapland, an origin-protected product with the same star status as Champagne, Parma ham and Dijon mustard.

It’s end of October. The fishing boats along the Swedish Lapland coast have been fishing for vendace since September 20th, from 6 am to 6 pm, six days a week. It’s spawning time for the little, no more than 20 centimetres long, whitefish from the salmonidae family.

Here, from Haparanda in the north to Piteå in the south, lies the world’s northernmost brackish water archipelago. Huge amounts of freshwater, chockfull of minerals, flows from the Torne, Kalix, Lule and Pite Rivers into the Bay of Bothnia where it collides with the sea, creating a unique habitat. This is where the little silvery fish that produces exclusive, deep reddish-gold caviar gathers to breed.

Hard work for a spoon-full

Vendace is a small fish, one female carries around two tablespoons of roe which means that the process of extracting and preparing the roe is both time-consuming and demands skill. Extracting the roe is done entirely by hand, no machine could ever replace the skill and dexterity of experienced fingertips. Therefore, Kalixlöjrom is as hard to get, as it is delicious.

Kalixlöjrom can only be produced here, nowhere else.

Thanks to the uniqueness of the conditions in the area, this is the only food in Sweden awarded with Protected Designation of Origin. This means that it is produced, processed and prepared within a limited area, according to methods characteristic to said area. Actually, there are only a three certified Kalixlöjrom producers in the world.

All you need is piece of toast or a blini, with a dollop of sour crème and chopped red onions.

Kalixlöjrom has star quality like no other food in Sweden – it is the most frequently re-occurring component on the menus at the Nobel Banquet. It’s also a favourite amongst star chefs, and often chosen to represent the pure, Swedish flavours.

The taste is mild, round with notes of smooth fish oil and saltwater. Like fine Champagne, Kalixlöjrom has unique mineral elements that give its characteristics. And like Champagne, it is origin-protected.

A great way to get to know Kalixlöjrom is to whip up a simple little appetizer. On a piece of toast or a blini, with a dollop of sour crème and chopped red onions.

If you are visiting Swedish Lapland, you can almost count on stumbling upon this delicacy in all upscale restaurants. So give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.

#kalixlojrom on instagram
Also read
  • 13
    Food

    The taste of Swedish Lapland

    In Swedish Lapland we keep honestly prepared food from local produce close to heart. That comes quite naturally since nature’s pureness and lots of great ingredients surround us. Welcome here and taste all the goodness of nature that has over centuries adapted to life in our subarctic environment.

    Therese Sidevärn
  • Jokkmokk Winter Market – with a taste of history and nature

    Since 1605, for over 400 years, Jokkmokk’s wonderful Winter Market has been held annually beginning on the first Thursday in February. A vibrant festival offering cultural activities alongside fantastic culinary experiences, the event takes place when winter is at its coldest. Attracting tens of thousands of visitors from around the world, the market remains the foremost meeting place for Sámi peoples across the entire Sápmi region.

    Ella Jonsson
  • 13
    Food

    Meet Eva, Swedish Lapland food creator

    She made the move from Stockholm to Swedish Lapland in her twenties to work at a mountain station and had her first life changing experience. Several years later she had the next one as she found her calling as an ambassador for the taste of Swedish Lapland. Meet Eva Gunnare – food creator and curious explorer of nature.

    Therese Sidevärn