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Det svenska svarta guldet - Gourmet - October 12th 2020

The Swedish black gold - Gourmet - October 12th 2020

Swedish black gold

Swedish caviar has started to find its way into the restaurants. 

Sweden's first caviar farm; Arctic Roe of Scandinavia, found in Strömsnäsbruk in Smäland.

Harvesting takes place via a so-called no-kill method. In other words, the fish is not slaughtered, but the exclusive roe grains are massaged out by hand.


Just a stone's throw from the E4, near Markaryd, we turn off towards Strömsnäsbruk. Viaker is a little lost, but Torbjörn Ranta, the CEO and one of the owners, guides by telephone. The large paper mill looks almost dilapidated. We go through a deserted large premises to where the large, beautiful prehistoric animals swim in pools.

Arctic Roe of Scandinavia was formed four years ago, and the first harvest was made in 2018. The species chosen is Siberian sturgeon, the same as Carelian Caviar grows in Finland. What makes Arctic Roe of Scandinavia special is the method used to harvest the caviar. Most commonly, a short time before the female lays her eggs, the fish is killed before the roe grains are taken out.

They are firm and easy to rinse, pack and salt. The method used in Strömsnäsbruk is much more complicated, which is both good and bad. The good side is first of all that the fish does not need to be killed, instead, you wait until the female is ready to lay her eggs, then a small hole is widened at the mouth of the oviduct and the eggs are massaged out in three rounds. 

This is a method that has become a little more common but, is difficult to master. The eggs are small, softer and break easily, and there is a risk of the fish getting inflammation. Of course, this takes place under very controlled conditions. The Swedish Food Agency sets strict requirements and has regular reconciliations.

“ We have to document everything,” says Torbjörn Ranta,

who worked for many years in Russia, where he came into contact with this type of cultivation. “…to be sure that we value food safety, we treat the caviar for a short time.”

The sturgeons give their first harvest when they are seven to eight and then every other year.

First of all, this requires a lot of space, and during the autumn Torbjörn and his partners plan to build additional pools.

It's time to check in with the sturgeons.

Today, only five sturgeon are to be harvested, but it takes several men to master such a fish. The harvest itself happens quickly and is over in one couple of minutes. Then the grains are taken into a small room where they are carefully rinsed off, heat treated, weighed, salted and packed. Everything is done by hand. Torbjörn is very involved in the harvest and always travels down to help and make sure everything is documented correctly. It is clear that this is a project built with passion.

”We have a few chefs who help us in the project,” says Tor-björn. “There is a natural difference between live-harvested caviar. Harvested Swedish caviar must be enjoyed slowly and ditto from slaughtered fish. We will probably never be able to fully replicate the flavours and texture of caviar from slaughtered fish, as with the established producers in France or Italy, but we want to make the product worthwhile. We believe that the sustainability dimension of live-harvested caviar may over time appeal to more and more consumers.

Arctic Roe of Scandinavia is currently available primarily at restaurants such as PM & Vänner, Hoze and Slottsholmen, but also in the bar at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm and at some fish delicatessen retailers. A number of Swedish wineries have also found that the Swedish caviar harmonizes well with locally produced wine.


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