Vendace roe from Vänern
Producing vendace roe
Fishing in Vänern is permitted from 17 October until 17 December. The weather plays a major role and governs both whether it will be possible to head out on the lake at all and the availability of fish and the amount of vendace roe. The fish are first shaken out of the net using special machines and then sorted into males and females. Then the catch is taken to approved preparation facilities where the females are emptied of roe by hand in a process known as “klämning”, which means squeezing. A true craft! Then the roe is carefully whisked to remove damaged roe, blood, membranes, etc. Once the roe has been separated from the fish, it is cleaned, rinsed and then dried. Once it is completely dry, it is examined one last time before it is salted. The product contains no additives and only consists of vendace roe and salt. Fresh roe that has not been frozen should not be eaten.
Vänerlöjrom sells to end customers for around 2,000 kronor/kg. However, the price can vary on a daily basis.
In autumn 2014, 16 vendace roe fishermen got together behind a single brand Vänerlöjrom and set up an association. They guarantee a first-class product with complete traceability to the producer thanks to an EC product number. Every autumn season, a vendace roe festival is usually held in Spiken where the association shows how the roe is produced and offers samples. Award: The Årets Skarpsill award for innovation in the Swedish fishing industry went to Vänerlöjrom in 2015, according to the judges “for investing in sustainable fishing and a first-class product of high and reliable quality”.
Vendace roe in food
Swedish vendace roe is not a flavouring but an ingredient. A dish can be built entirely around vendace roe or the roe can be used as the finishing touch. Common dishes that incorporate vendace roe are “skagenröra”, sauces and toppings for toast.