|Terry Dougherty displays some of Taste of Norway's product|
Taste of Norway, started by Norway's Honorary Consul in Philadelphia, Erik Torp, and Swedish entrepreneur Jonas Vesterberg, is importing smoked salmon and steelhead and selling them at a day stall in the former Coastal Cave stall. They'll be there at least a couple of months, Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to closing. If it works out well they'll try to be there at least through Christmas and New Year's.
When I visited yesterday their product offerings were limited to cold smoked Atlantic salmon and steelhead salmon; the latter is actually the farm-raised version of sea-run rainbow trout. Erik and Jonas also plan to sell salmon burgers at the stall.
The cold smoked fishes were being sold at a relative bargain: $10 for an eight-ounce package. That's no more (and even a little bit less in many instances) than you'd pay at supermarkets for pre-sliced, packaged smoked salmon. (And much of what's labelled "Norwegian" in the supermarkets is actually Norwegian salmon that's been shipped to Poland for smoking and packaging, where processing costs are cheaper.)
While I prefer hand-sliced belly lox or nova to pre-sliced, packaged product, Taste of Norway's offerings are sure to please. I tried the steelhead on a buttered baguette and found it well-satisfied my cold smoked fish craving. The steelhead is a tad milder, I'm told, than the Atlantic salmon.
I'm not averse to purchasing farm-raised salmon when I know it's been produced in a safe and reasonably environmentally-benign manner. That's the case with Norwegian salmon, whose pens are scattered in the deep cold-water fiords all along the nation's west coast. For example, the Norwegian aquaculture industry ensures the fish is raised in a low-density environment, at least 97.5 percent of open water volume per pen to allow the salmon the freedom to grow to full size in a clean and natural environment. (Sounds a lot nicer to be an industrial salmon in Norway than industrial chicken in Delmarva.) In addition, Taste of Norway's producers raise fish that are hormone-free, not genetically modified and free of artificial ingredients.