Greinasafni: Icelandic Times
A Forgotten Delicacy

Canned Cod Liver, Foie Gras of the Ocean
Although many of the Icelandic traditional courses originate from feasible means of preservation and efficient use of raw materials, some of them just happen to be delicious. One of them is the unique canned cod liver, which has been called the ‘Foie Gras of the Ocean’.
For centuries, Icelanders have been quite resourceful in finding ways of utilizing the wealth from the ocean to the utmost to get them through harsh times and often unforgiving climate conditions. Building on that legacy, fish processing company Mc09 in Sandgerdi has recently started producing a delicacy which some here in Iceland had long ago forgotten – canned cod liver.

A Vital Role in Iceland’s History

Cod liver is particularly rich in vitamins and Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, to which some have attributed the survival of the Icelandic settlers and their descendants. In fact, some claim Icelanders’ high longevity stems from eating so much fish and fish liver.
Since The Settlement, cod liver has been used for both consumption and heating and thus has undoubtedly played a vital role in the history of Iceland, which is why the people at Mc09 are particularly proud to present their product at this time.
“Many Icelanders had, in fact, forgotten about the canned cod liver and had stopped eating it, but now it’s entering the market very successfully,” says Guðmundur Davíðsson, manager of Mc09. “Part of the reason could be that we’re so used to getting fresh fish products right from the docks that we tend to overlook the processed goods. But the fact of the matter is that the canned cod liver is a completely unique product and a welcome addition to the fresh materials. Its taste is quite distinct and considered a delicacy by connoisseurs in many European countries, but our ambition is to introduce it to new cultures and markets,” says Guðmundur.

Pure Waters and Fresh Materials

One of the things which make the cod liver from Iceland a particular rarity today is the low level of dioxin contamination in Icelandic waters. The use of cod liver for consumption has, in fact, been discontinued in many fishing jurisdictions due to dioxin contamination, as the cod processes such undesirable materials through the liver, whereas the Icelandic waters remain relatively pure and well below the international health standards. The cod liver comes fresh off the docks from the traditional Icelandic fishing village of Sandgerdi and neighbouring villages where the fishing industry has been accumulating experience and knowledge for centuries.

The canned cod liver comes in two varieties here in Iceland, either smoked or natural, depending on the markets’ preference, and can be bought in most stores in Iceland. Also look out for exciting starters with cod liver in Reykjavík’s seafood restaurants.

MC09 fiskframleiðendur
Fríkirkjuvegi 3 • 101 Reykjavík
+354 511 5999

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