Stockfish is probably the oldest article still being exported from Norway and has been produced the same way since the age of the Vikings some 1100 years ago!
Stockfish is appreciated in a number of countries with Italy being the prime importing country. Among other countries importing stockfish you’ll find Sweden, UK, US, Croatia, Slovenia and Nigeria. Stockfish is cooked according to local traditions in each of the countries mentioned above.
Production of stockfish
Once the fresh fish is landed the fish is cleaned and strung up on wooden racks in the open air to dry. The fish is left to dry for about 3 months. When ready the humidity level is about 19-24%. Stockfish is primarily produced from cod but saithe, ling, tusk and haddock are also used for production of stockfish
An important factor when producing stockfish is temperature and weather conditions. Most of the stockfish is produced from March to June when the climatic conditions are ideal. This is also the period during which large quantities of cod are arriving at the coast to spawn.
Once dried the fish is sorted by quality, length and weight as well as thickness. More than 30 different classes of Stockfish from Lofoten and Finnmark exist. Stockfish is packed in hessian wrapped bales of 50 or 45kg net. The hessian wrapping is used to allow air to pass through in order to keep the fish dry.