Outmoded Norwegian fish needs boost in Italy

Outdated Norwegian fish need boost in ItalyMILANO.State visit Italy. King Harald of Norway.Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Norway has sold Italy the same cod product for over 500 years, and sales have declined for years. Time for a rethink ,  Innovation Norway says.

But when Norwegian fish  was served in an  Italian way at the royal couple’s last lunch during the state visit in Italy on Friday, it seemed to appeal to both to the royals, business people and the Italian hosts.
– Let us now enjoy the taste of Norwegian seafood prepared according to the best Italian gastronomic traditions. I’m sure it will be a lovely example of how well Norwegian ingredients and Italian finesse and craftsmanship fit together,  King Harald said in his speech before the food was served.
Overall, seafood exports from Norway have doubled in the past seven years as a result of strong growth in salmon exports, but exports of stockfish has been falling in 10-15 years,  Innovation Norway estimates. They want to reinvigorate dry cod from the north.

A lot of time
Seafood Imports from Norway has a long history, the first recorded instance is from when a Venetian merchant was stranded a whole winter outside of Røst in 1432. When he travelled back to Italy he brought some stockfish as well. This  was a hit in a Catholic country where you were required to fast on meat much of the year and with a need for the protein from fish. Almost all the parts of Italy have their local variants of “stoccafisso”:
– This is the challenge: We have sold them the same product for over 500 years, but stockfish require up to several days of preparation. It  The younger generations today does not have the time for that. Especially the young, affluent men have great interest in food, but little time. There is room for development of Norwegian raw materials for new products,  Elisabeth Svanholm Meyer says to the news agency NTB.
She is the head of Innovation Norway’s office in Milan.


Design and Energy
For three days, the royal couple have, at the behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, fronted  thestate visit to Italy. Besides fish, the program on Friday was defined by Norwegian energy and design.
King Harald and Queen Sonja  started off their activities on Fridat  by attending the business seminar “Italian – Norwegian Energy Dialogue: Solutions for the Future” organized by Innovation Norway in Milan. At this event they were accompanied by Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien (FRP). The rest of the day the main topics and events had to do with Norwegian fashion industry and design in the Italian financial capital,  interrupted by a lunch of Norwegian fish, prepared in the traditional Italian way.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today