The European Commission has announced that no objections have been received regarding the decision to grant Kalixlöjrom Europe’s toughest geographical indication, Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Kalixlöjrom is the first Swedish foodstuff to receive the protection. The announcement comes just as the time-honoured Grand Hôtel in Stockholm stocks up for its annual week of homage to Kalixlöjrom to boost the caviar’s perception among gastronomic experts as being among the very best in the world.
The six-month appeal period regarding the EU commission’s decision to award Kalixlöjrom (vendace roe from Kalix) protected status has passed. Because no objections to the decision were received, only an administrative process remains whereby the decision is translated to 23 languages and is also published in the EU Commission’s official journal in order to come into force.
The chairman of the Norrbotten Coastal Fishing Association (Norrbottens Kustfiskareförbund) Kjell Strömbäck heard the news about the decision while at sea fishing off Påläng in Kalix.
“This is splendid news. It’s incredibly important in marketing terms, even though building up the brand will be a long-term job,” says Kjell Strömbäck, who admits he was a little worried that someone would appeal the decision. “But now it looks as though everything is OK, and that is absolutely fabulous,” he says.
Once the decision comes into force, the Norrbotten Coastal Fishing Association will be able to use the PDO seal on Kalixlöjrom. Kalixlöjrom has long enjoyed acclaim among Sweden’s masterchefs and bons vivants. Now that it has officially gained entry into Europe’s finest gastronomic circles Kalixlöjrom opens up opportunities for increased exports of the delicious Swedish luxury product.
The world’s foremost champagne connoisseur, Richard Juhlin, ranks Kalixlöjrom among the very best and with its purity of taste, minerality and refinement, it makes a perfect accompaniment to champagne.
The Grand Hôtel in Stockholm makes the very best of the short fishing season and offers the freshest of Kalixlöjrom and vendace as seasonal delicacies between October 5 and 10. Head Chef Andreas Askling:
“We like to serve Kalixlöjrom fresh when it’s at its very best – which is during the third week of fishing – to demonstrate what a fantastic delicacy it is.”
The end of the decision process means a great deal for Kalix municipality too. Robert Forsberg, Kalix councillor:
“We have worked for this for a very long time and I feel that it something that not only Kalix can be proud of, but all of Sweden. And it can help Sweden to develop into a culinary nation of the highest order.”
The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) is the tougher of Europe’s two types of geographical protection of origin. Produce must come from a given area and production must take place there. Both the raw materials and production must depend entirely or to a major part on the location’s unique environment. In this context the environment includes both natural conditions such as soil quality and human traditions associated with the region. The protection relates to Kalixlöjrom, even though the fishermen that are members of the Norrbotten Coastal Fishing Association also fish off Haparanda, Luleå and Piteå municipalities.
Tryggve Bergman, Matproducenterna i Norr, previously project manager for the Kalix municipality PDO application; phone +46 70 538 5500
Robert Forsberg, Councillor, Kalix municipality; phone +46 923 650 01
Jenny Hakeberg, Head of Information, Kalix municipality; phone +46 070 375 8645
One of nature’s most unlikely strokes of luck – from Haparanda’s northern islands to just south of Piteå, the enormous flow of fresh water from Norrland’s rivers has created the world’s biggest brackish water archipelago. Here, and only here, does the vendace provide the exclusive, golden-red roe called Kalixlöjrom, the Gulf of Bothnia’s red gold.