In Lofoten, icy winds welcome the freshest cod in the world. This is what the skrei fishing epicenter looks like.
To arrive at Lofoten, an island within the arctic circle, us shivering and freezing cold humans have to make a stop in Oslo to catch a small plane of very dubious quality; while the skrei cod have to swim at a ravenous speed through the coldest waters in the world, from the Barents Sea to a remote ghost town in Norway in which each house is an island that only fisherman inhabit. The fishermen live for and by cod in that sea of snow, a gastronomic temple for its lovers. They say it’s a miracle how skrei survive these temperatures; that they migrate to lay eggs and that they store fat the rest of the year for the beastly intake of freezing kilometers that awaits them in these northernmost latitudes. The other reality is that you can’t turn on the heat inside the car because of the smell that comes in from Lofoten. In fact, it is also worth it to spend some time out in the cold to watch the deserted and illuminated fjords at four in the morning while fishermen wait lurking for the skrei.
They arrive from February to March and devote themselves to the dry land to appeal to gourmands from all over the world. A white, firm and juicy meat that is cooked everyday in a different way. The most typical in Lofoten is the one they call ‘bakalao’: with a hint of spice from the chili and resembling a fish stew with soup and potatoes. They say it comes from Spain. Very convenient since skrei means nomad.