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Historical breeze at the docks by the monastery at Halsnøy. Madeleine E. Aasen is wearing a 150-year-old crown and the Fjellberg towers in the background. Photo: Jan Magnar Reigstad
Rune Eide presents a piece of hand-smoked salmon. Photo: Jan Magnar Reigstad
A nearly royal salmon A small producer on Norway’s north-western coast has revolutionised the smoked salmon market. By Eva-Kristin U. Pedersen
Rune Eide had been smoking salmon for private use for the last eight years when, in December 2020, he decided to produce a minor batch for his local community for Christmas. The feedback he got was so overwhelming that Eide had no choice but to make a business out of it. Today, Kloster Laks has become one of the most sought-after high-quality 84 |
smoked salmons in Norway – so much so, that even the royal vessel, Kongeskipet, is on the list of customers. “I take no shortcuts. It’s all produced in a traditional manner,” Eide assures as he explains the production process. “First, the fish gets salted, then rinsed and patted dry, before it is marinated and stored to dry. Then the salmon is cold
smoked with oak shavings and juniper shoots to create a smoky finish. After that, the fish needs to rest and dry so that all the flavour is absorbed. The entire process takes about one week and is completely manual,” enthuses Eide, who by the looks of it is not shy of manual labour. “It is really important to ensure the right amount of salt to extract liquid, while making sure that the end product is not too salty. When ready, the salmon should be succulent but not fatty,” stresses Eide in the broad and sturdy dialect typical of the western coast of Norway.