Hanging the Cod in Norway

Good quality stockfish demands correct weather and temperatures, and this perfect environment is found in Lofoten.


In Lofoten, nature provides optimum conditions at exactly the same time that the Winter and Spring Cod arrive at the spawning grounds. This has made the region famous for top-grade stockfish all over the world. Good quality stockfish is also produced in other parts of Norway. Traditionally, the drying or “hanging” period in Lofoten is from early March to the middle of April. Later, the temperature in Lofoten is often too high for drying, but one can successfully dry fish in Finnmark in both April and May.

Both flat lofts and drying racks are employed in the drying of fish. Flat lofts demand greater area, while racks exploit height. No documentation exists as to which is best. Therefore, the use of various types of lofts or racks is more a matter of tradition and depends on available space than an expression of a comparative advantage.

Ties of small fish are hung on the thin end of the pole, and the
larger fish are hung on the thick end. The fish is hung well spaced to ensure sufficient airflow. It is also important that the fish does not come into contact with other fish or the boards. This can cause hanging marks that can later lead to a reduction in sales value. An inspection round is therefore carried out immediately after hanging to ensure that the fish is properly separated.

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