This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Norwegian Salmon for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Today we're taking a little culinary trip to beautiful Norway! No Norwegian lunch would be complete without one of Norway’s most distinctive dishes, gravlax. The name literally means “Grave-Salmon” and refers to the medieval practice of curing the raw fish by burying it in the sand above the high tide level.
Not only is this a fantastic dish, Norwegian Salmon provides the most amazing ocean-farmed salmon that you have ever tasted!! I absolutely love this salmon, not only because it's delicious but because it is produced in a safe environment with complete traceability.
Even though I'm a busy parent, I'm also a foodie and foodies know that when it comes to finding authentic, superior tasting foods, origin matters. As you know, Norwegians have a passion and love for the sea that began thousands of years ago. I think that because their culture is so tied to our oceans, they know how to responsibly provide the finest, freshest seafood. (In fact, Norway’s seafood industry pioneered the development of responsible ocean salmon-farming in the early 1970’s!).
“The analogy I would give is that farmers in Norway are treating their salmon the way our organic farmers in the U.S. treat their farms,” said Ashley Koff, R.D., M.S., on a Good Morning America Health Segment, May 5, 2011, after also participating in an educational trip to Norway in April of 2011.
The salmon are grown slowly, as nature intended. They spend the first year of their life in hatchery tanks on land until they are strong enough for life in the sea. Then after one year, the salmon are carefully transferred to spacious, protected pens in the ocean. These pens are very large and allow the salmon maximum freedom to grow. Norwegian law even dictates that these pens must be 97.5 percent water to allow maximum comfort for the salmon.
At every point of the salmon’s development, they are being monitored closely. Technologically advanced systems help farmers and vegetarians monitor every aspect of their life, including when they are hungry and full. The salmon are fed an all-natural diet, which consists of ½ marine raw materials like fish oil and fishmeal from wild fish and ½ vegetable raw, material, plus vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Did you know that the recent dietary guidelines from the USDA’s new “My Plate” recommend at least 2 servings of fish a week? The World Health Organization has also recommended increasing seafood intake as a way to improve the general health of the world’s population. These guidelines make incorporating protein-rich fish like salmon in our diets even more important than ever.
However, because of depleting fish populations in oceans worldwide, meeting this requirement could be difficult without farming. But with the help of responsible aquaculture, this goal is attainable. “Norway is one of the biggest exporters of Atlantic salmon. Our seafood is enjoyed in more than 150 countries worldwide,” says Grønbech. “The reason for this success is Norway’s long traditions of harvesting seafood in a sustainable manner to ensure safe, delicious seafood supplies are available for generations of fish lovers to come.”
Today gravlax is cured with sugar, salt and fresh dill to produce a fresh, delicate flavor that is traditionally eaten on open-faced sandwiches or with stewed potatoes. I hope your family loves it as much as mine does! I served up the thin slices on a platter and let people choose to eat it with crusty bread, crackers, or even just straight up with mustard-dill sauce. Norwegian Gravlax
1 approx 2-lb salmon fillet, skin on
3 tbsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp coarsely ground pepper
1 bunch dill, coarsely chopped
4 egg yolks
½ tsp salt
½ cup vegetable oil or mild olive oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp mustard
2-3 tbsp finely chopped dill
1. Trim salmon fillets. Scrape the skin well and remove all bones (if any).
2. Blend salt, sugar and pepper. Sprinkle half of the salt mixture in the bottom of a roasting pan, then sprinkle half of the dill over and place the fillet in the pan skin side down.
4. Put fish in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Turn it every day. Scrape seasoning and dill from the fillets before serving.
6. Stir sugar, vinegar, pepper and mustard into the sauce. Just before use add the dill. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
7. Cut the salmon into thin slices and serve with gravy, stewed potatoes or bread and salad.
Now the owner of Nova Sea AS, a 35-year-old salmon farming company started by her father Steinar in 1972, Aino takes great pride in carrying on her family’s business and devotion to providing the freshest salmon available through the basic principles of integrity, honesty and unsurpassed quality. In fact, the farmers in Lovund provide more than 425 million meals every year for the global salmon market directly from their cold, clear coastal waters.
Describing her company as a high-technology global business that’s highly regulated for traceability and safety, Aino says the business provides a simple way of living and harvesting from the ocean that makes food production a pleasure shared by everyone in this vital Norwegian industry.
“It’s amazing to be able to every day play an important part in people’s lives,” explains Aino. “Food is such a basic, simple part of people’s survival but at the same time, it’s indispensable. That’s why we take so much pride in providing the highest quality salmon to add taste and enjoyment to the lives of the people who eat it.”
Since the first batch of 1,200 juvenile salmon, or smolt, were shipped in plastic bags to Lovund to start farming in the early 1970’s, Aino watched her father struggle to establish salmon farming as a means to reverse the trend of depopulation and depression in Lovund’s local trade and industry at that time.
After years of research, experiments and round-the-clock work to ensure the salmon’s survival, the first salmon farms began growing. Since then, Lovund has flourished as a natural source of fresh salmon and cod, slowly grown as nature intended in the cold, clear Norwegian waters.
Born just a few years after the company was started, food production has been a natural and important part of Aino’s life ever since. She started contributing to the family business at an early age, spending her summer vacations working on the farm. At age 16, Aino left Lovund to continue her education and later attended the Norwegian College of Fishery Science in Tromso. After 15 years of study and travel in Denmark, Ecuador and France, Aino returned home to start a family and continue with the business in the hopes of passing down these traditions to her own family.
When asked why Americans should choose Norwegian salmon, Aino says simply, “Norway has a long history of harvesting from the ocean and the Norwegian culture is strongly connected to the sea. Our salmon is healthy, delicious and produced in safe environments with complete traceability. Plus, Norwegian salmon contains important marine proteins and omega-3 fatty acids that are so important for the human body. That’s why Norwegians are so healthy.”
In fact, salmon is a regular part of her family’s diet, according to Aino. “We eat salmon for dinner at least once a week, and we often enjoy smoked salmon for breakfast and lunch,” she says. “My favorite way to serve it is to oven bake a salmon fillet in aluminum foil after sprinkling it with soy sauce, herbs, fresh chili, fresh ginger and a few drops of freshly squeezed lime. My family loves it served with fresh vegetables.”
Today, Norway is one of the world’s largest suppliers of seafood, including wild and farmed fish, with more than 27 million meals including Norwegian Seafood consumed worldwide every day. Ocean-farmed Norwegian salmon is available fresh year-round, is easy to prepare and is a good investment in your family’s health. For more information about ocean-farmed salmon from Norway, visit salmon from Norway. It's a possibility that I might get to go to Norway this spring and I would like nothing better than seeing firsthand their love and dedication to responsible fishing. I will definitely bring you on the adventure (virtually:)) if it happens!
This sponsored post is written by myself on behalf of Norwegian Salmonfor SocialSpark. All opinions, as always, are my own.