Trøndelag and the Northwest
Why do foodies from all over the world flock to a small restaurant on a remote island on the Trøndelag coast?
For the famous seafood platter at Ansnes Brygger!
Optimal temperatures. Nutrient-rich waters. Long traditions.
No wonder the world's best chefs choose salmon, langoustines, and shellfish from the Trøndelag coast, including the world famous Hitra crab, for their most exclusive menus.
You can't fake the taste.
"We are one of Norway's largest shellfish restaurants. The seafood we serve here, is caught and served the very same day."
Ola Sirus Skjåk-Bræk, Head Chef at Ansnes Brygger
The rich waters of Trøndelag
There is a wide range of incredibly delicious seafood available in Norway, but the Trøndelag coast has some quite unique traits, resulting in some of the highest quality seafood you can get.
Here, The Gulf Stream from the south meets the cold current from the north, providing optimal conditions for fish and seafood.
Most of the scallops served in premier restaurants in Norway and the Nordic countries stem from the Trøndelag coast. The waters are also very rich in langoustine. According to Ola, who runs one of Norway's most legendary seafood restaurants, Ansnes Brygger, on the island of Hitra, that's not so common in Norway.
He started his career at the very first gourmet restaurant to open in Trondheim, and has since had a passion for cooking the very best food based on extraordinary local ingredients.
"Coming to Ansnes, is like landing in the middle of a fantastic larder," says Ola.
Ola and his team have also brought their delicious seafood to the city by opening their unique new seafood restaurant, "The Crab" in Trondheim.
A shellfish love affair
To get a better sense of why Trøndelag is so significant in terms of its seafood, we have to talk about the island region of Hitra and Frøya, located at the outlet of the Trondheim fjord.
It's not without reason that the scallops from Frøya appear on plates in Asia's best restaurants, while crabs from Hitra (also known as Hitra crab) have long been a delicacy in France. These specific coastal areas are perhaps the best locations in the world for langoustine and crab, among other seafood.
"Langoustine thrives at low temperatures and a depth of 150 to 200 meters with a flat mud seabed. The area has also high water quality and the right temperature range," explains Ola.
Organic seafood, the Norwegian way
Organic food is big in Norway. Its sustainable seafood industry is the result of strict regulations by Norwegian authorities and an ongoing balance between environmental, economic, and social factors.
Norway’s long and strong fishing traditions also make it a pioneer in solving new challenges. The country is internationally considered a model in terms of how to make fish farming and other ocean industries sustainable.
Fishing remains popular among Norwegians and visitors alike. Protecting and conserving the natural environment is seen as key to ensuring that future generations will also be able to enjoy Norway’s natural resources.
Brown crab - the crème de la crème of crab
Although you can sample taskekrabbe, brown crab, in many places, the most famous brown crab comes from Hitra. The exquisite crab from the coast of Trøndelag has become synonymous with the location.
"The Hitra crab is large, meaty and full of nutrition," says Ola.
If you travel to Hitra and Trøndelag, you can sample it fresh, straight from the sea. A must-try is Ola and his team's famous seafood bonanza buffet at Ansnes Brygger, which features famous crab and langoustine, among other delicacies.
Impress your friends and family by cooking it yourself at home. You can find Ola's own twist on Hitra crab, Singapore pepper crab, and lots of other tasty dishes in The Norwegian Cookbook.
The cradle of salmon farming
Trøndelag is also known for first-class salmon, attracting salmon fishermen from all over the world. The Trondheimsfjord is unique with its many water courses rich in salmon, and you will find some of Norway's best and most iconic wild salmon rivers in Trøndelag: Namsen, Gaula and Orkla.
Hitra is known as the cradle of salmon farming in Norway. It was here that the world's first smolt facility for Atlantic salmon was established in 1970. Today, millions of people worldwide enjoy salmon from the Norwegian coast every day! The health benefits of salmon are well known, but fewer people know that Norwegian salmon is also antibiotic-free and non-genetically modified. Norwegian salmon farmers are continuously striving to make the technology more sustainable and to create a more circular industry.
Are you ready to sample more super fresh seafood?
Every chef in Portugal knows the name ... clipfish. But clipfish is considered as Norwegian as smoked salmon and pickled herring!
The clipfish city
Head a little further south of Trøndelag to Kristiansund in the Northwest, the home of this dried and salted speciality, mostly made from cod. The city was largely built on fishing and the production of clipfish, which was traditionally dried on rocks by the sea, before being exported to southern European countries, beginning in the middle of the 17th century. In return, traders received spices and imported vibrant culture, including the dish called bacalao (derived from the Spanish and Portuguese word for cod)!
At The Norwegian Clipfish Museum you can learn more about the city's unique history. You can also join Klippfiskfestivalen, the annual clipfish festival, which is usually held in June.
When in town, you must try Kristiansund's speciality fishan – fresh fish and chips. Sample it at the popular Fishanbua by the harbour, or in one of the city's restaurants.
Want to sample local food at home? Try a traditional bacalao recipe made from clipfish from the west coast of Norway.
European Region of Gastronomy 2022
But there is more to the Trøndelag region than just outstanding seafood. Trøndelag and Trondheim is one of the hottest regions for foodies in Europe right now, and there are many tasty reasons why it was named European Region of Gastronomy 2022.
Find the best local treats in this bumper foodie guide to Trondheim and Trøndelag!
Out by the open sea at Smøla, wild sheep roam freely among the coastal heather.
Protected Geographical Indication in Norway
Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) is a public certification scheme that provides legal protection for products that have a close link to a specific geographical area as well as traditional local specialities. Norway has its own national legislation in addition to the EU scheme.
The purpose of certification is to increase innovation and product ranges by stimulating regional and local food production.
A unique taste of nature
If you eat better, you live better. The same goes for the wild sheep and deer that live on the Norwegian coast. The freedom to roam, coastal climate, and plant life on islands like Smøla in the Northwest, and Hitra and Frøya in Trøndelag, give the meat a unique taste of wild nature, and a real tenderness.
Wild sheep from the Norwegian coastline is a unique quality product, which has been granted Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. The sheep are excellent stewards of the landscape and graze outside all year round, due to the coastal climate with cool summers and mild winters. They eat herbs and juniper shoots, which are also recommended as spices when preparing your own local food. They even like to wander down to the sea to graze on seaweed and kelp!
At Villsaugården farm at Smøla, you can enjoy lovely surroundings and sample delicious local products made from wild sheep from the farm shop and restaurant.
In Trøndelag, you will also see that deer is a delicacy often served in restaurants. They say that the island of Hitra is home to more deer than people! The island even has a hotel named Hjorten Hotell, or 'Deer Hotel'. Sample local delicacies in the hotel's restaurant, or visit DalPro Gårdsmat, a farm shop that sells a range of deer and wild sheep products.
Have you worked up an appetite for Trøndelag and the Northwest yet? Eat your way from Trondheim to Kristiansund on a coastal journey by express boat, or check out what might be Norway's tastiest cycle trip!
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