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Authentic Arctic Culinary

Authentic Arctic Smoked Salmon à la Hegelund

Over the centuries, the inhabitants of Scandinavia have made use of numerous techniques to conserve salmon. In the 17th century, it was smoked salmon that conquered kitchens the world over.

The now-classic technique consists of a salt bath, rinsing, and smoking for a period ranging from a few hours to several days. It actually first became popular among the high society in France, before becoming popular throughout Northern Europe as well.

In Arctic Norway, the Hegelunds were able, through trial and error, to fuse this aristocratic tradition with unique local knowledge.

Cold-smoking with juniper wood, adding spirits to the filets during the smoking process and so on helped create some of most-celebrated gourmet dishes on this side of the Arctic Circle.

Cloudberry: The Golden Secret of Scandinavia

Steeped in local folklore, cloudberries are the most exclusive berries in Scandinavia. Plentiful in the northern expanses of Norway, Sweden and Finland, they are often referred to as “the gold of the mountain” because of their shimmering, jewel-like colors.

Cloudberries grow especially well in the high-altitude plateaus and fens of Arctic Norway where they spend the entire summer being nourished by the towering Midnight Sun, before being harvested in the Fall.

Rich in vitamin C and containing twice as much antioxidants as oranges, cloudberries were treasured by the fishermen and farmers who lived off the coast of the Arctic Sea. Not only was the berry an effective way to combat scurvy, its unique, tart and fruity taste made it an extremely  popular treat as well.

Served fresh, in jam, or even distilled in a surprisingly sweet liquor, the cloudberry is as versatile and colorful as the spellbinding land it grows from.

Bilberry: A sweet and healthy superberry

The European counterpart of the North-American Blueberry, the Bilberry, has long-been a popular foodstuff in the Arctic expenses of Northern Norway. As was the case in most rural communities across the oceanside, the Hegelunds of Karlsøy always spent a considerable amount of time each summer to hike the island fells in search for the famed berry.

Once picked, the family got together to clean, prepare and preserve the berries. While bilberries were consistently popular fresh (especially when baked in pies or spread unto warm toasts), turning them into jam made for a sweeter and longer-lasting delight during the long and cold Arctic winter.

Bilberries that are prepared and distributed today are still handpicked and processed through environmentally-friendly methods and preserved according the age-old recipes passed down the Hegelund family for generations.

House of Hegelund Flake Salt

In Scandinavia, sea salt has been harvested since the end of the Stone Age. The Hegelunds have always made good use of the rich local sea salt to spice up their family recipes and replenish their strength during the long and tough winters.

The salt is manually produced and processed through environmentally friendly methods. Its soft yet crispy texture beautifully compliments any dish. Gently crumble or scatter the flakes on lightly dressed green salads, raw or freshly grilled vegetables, fish and other seafood to draw the best flavors from your ingredients.

With the Hegelund flake salt, bringing the unique taste of the Arctic Ocean to your kitchen has never been easier.

Caviar from Siberian sturgeon

Back in the 19th and early 20th century, the Hegelund clan had deep commercial ties with neighboring Russia. Among the numerous quality goods that were brought from the White Sea to Karlsøy, none were as valued as Caviar.

The eggs from the Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii), which is found across Arctic Russia is considered to be the best of the best. The brownish color (the lighter, the most better), medium size and salty taste of the eggs participate in crafting a powerful gastronomic experience.

The aftertaste is often referred to as bringing “a subtle taste of the sea” to the mouth. This high-quality caviar is best enjoyed with champagne, or good old Russian vodka !

Gravlax: The Arctic Origins of a Legendary Dish

The origin of Gravlax can be traced all the way back to 14th-century North-Sweden. In the Middle-Ages, salt was expensive and most foods had to be preserved using alternative methods. After filleting the salmon, it was placed in a hole in the earth, covered with birch bark and laid in a bath of water, the fish’s own blood and various spices and herbs.

Despite the rather strong smell, the fish was able to be conserved for much longer than usual and it slowly became well-known all over Europe. Over time, the recipe changed somewhat thanks to French and German influence as well as the introduction of salt and dill. Nowadays, Gravlax is one of the few Scandinavia dish that is famous the world over.

Halibut:  “The holy fish” of the Arctic

The oldest representation of Halibut in Norway dates back from the Stone Age. The fish, which is sometimes called “the holy fish” is one of the largest animal that can be found in the cold fjords of Arctic Norway: the largest one caught by a member of the Hegelund clan weighed no less than 220 kilos!

Even when the fish weighs a normal weight of 30 to 60 kilos, halibut fishing is a demanding activity. Between the time the halibut bites and the moment it gets hauled up unto the boat, 20 to 40 minutes might very well have passed.

Thankfully, Halibut-fishing à la Hegelund generally goes well thanks to the numerous tips and secrets passed down in the family.

Stockfish: True Arctic Authenticity

Cod (Torsk in Norwegian) has been by far the most important staple-food and trading good in Norwegian history. The North-Eastern Atlantic Cod, which spends its summers in the Russian White Sea migrates every winter to the coast of Arctic Norway where it is met by the world’s largest fishery.

It has been proven that Norwegian dried cod (stockfish) has been exported all over Europe since the Viking Age and was actually the country’s number one export and source of wealth until the discovery of oil in the 20th century.

As far as food is concerned, it simply does not get more authentic than codfish hauled right from the cold waters of Arctic Norway.

Spice up your meal

A great number of unique herbs can be found in the Arctic. Oregano, caraway, juniper, meadowsweet as well as numerous food-herbs such as chives, sorrel, or angelica have all been used by generations of Arctic cooks and homesteaders.

As a matter of fact, many of these herbs were actively cultivated by farmers and other country people when the Hegelund clan began establishing itself in the region in the 17th century.

The Hegelunds have always been proud of the spices and herb-blends that were, and still are, developed in the family’s kitchens. All the products available today are based on an authentic family tradition.

The Hegelund spices are the perfect choice to bring about the best in any meal.

Flatbread: an Hearty Scandinavian Staple

Throughout the gastronomical history of Scandinavia, bread has always occupied a place of choice. Flatbread was already common in the Viking age and is still popular today. When the Hegelunds came to Arctic Norway, flatbread was one of the most common foods consumed in the region.

North-Norwegian flatbread was produced using unleavened barley and wheat flour, warmed atop a heated flat stone or an iron pan. These millimeter-thick breads were conserved in wooden buckets and could keep for over a year. It also was the snack of choice of the fishermen and hunters who sailed the polar seas.

Based on old family recipes, our breads make use of quality Norwegian ingredients and techniques that guarantees a wholesome, yet subtle flavor profile. Our breads can compliment any dinner table featuring soups, cured meats pickled fish and more. In the family though, nothing is said to top a taste of bread topped with lingonberry jam. Why not give it a try?

Lingonberry, the Scarlet Arctic Treasure

Possibly the most popular and most-consumed berry in the entire country, the lingonberry has been a gastronomic and cultural staple in Norway for several hundreds of years. The lingonberry, which develops its trademark crimson color through the summer months of the Midnight Sun, grows plentiful both in the coastal and mountain landscapes of the Arctic.

Full of vitamins and antioxidants, the berry was cherished for its surprisingly long storage life and its many, diversified uses. While folk healers prepared numerous remedies from the berry’s pulp, leaves and roots, chefs all over the country preferred using it to bring taste -and color- to their dishes.

Equally fitting on freshly-baked bread, desserts and red-meats, it isn’t surprising that the talented cooks of the Hegelund clan developed a special liking for the berry whose singular, slightly acidic and bitter taste has never failed to turn any meal into a unique, vibrant experience.