The production of klippfish (salted cod) boasts a long tradition in Norway. The very first klippfish production started at Fosen in 1691 and by the mid 18th century, production had spread to the entire barren coastal Møre og Romsdal region in Western Norway. The region boasted historically rich cod fisheries, natural coastal rocks and cliffs for drying, and a dry, cool climate with long periods of stable, windy spring weather in April/May – ideal for salting and drying cod. The cliffs would be cleaned of dirt and residues and rubbed with salt before being covered with fish. Historic photographs show scenes of these rocks abundant with drying fish and the town’s women and children tending the drying process.
Some "traditional quality" klippfish production still exists today in the Western coast of Norway and along the western coast of Norway, but has considerably decreased. The few remaining small-scale producers obtain skrei (Gadus morhua cod), coming from the sustainable Northeast arctic cod stocks. Coastal fishers on small fishing boats, using sustainable fishing techniques of special cod fishing nets and long lines and hooks, catch the fish from January to April and deliver them fresh to the producer. Thus begins the four-month or more crafts production process of salted and dried codfish.
Since mid 1900’s klippfish has been dried in wind tunnels that simulate the exterior coast climate. Still, the constant monitoring and repositioning of the fish within the tunnels for optimal drying and quality is a human endeavor and depends on the skills of the craftsmen.
The production of quality traditional salt cod is almost non-existent today. Most salt cod found on the market is produced from fish caught by trawlers. Catches are frozen and delivered to large-scale producers who use mechanized production processes. Modern salt cod production leaves no space for local culture and craftsmanship.
Kristiansund, Møre og Romsdal County, West Coast of Norway
Tel. +47 71515102 - +47 93017841
Tel. +47 71261543 - +47 92069412
Tel. +47 70190421 - +47 90234585
tel. +47 55327551 / +47 95146623