Nordic Caviar or ‘Bleak-Roe’ Kalix Löjrom is the roe of a salmonid fish called vendace from the Bothnian Bay archipelago of the Baltic Sea in northern Sweden.
The Bothnian Bay has brackish water, a result of several large rivers flowing out into the sea. This is what makes the vendace’s caviar so special and a highly prized delicacy in Sweden with its golden orange colour and mild and elegant, salty sea flavour.
Kalix is a locality in Norrbotten County. The roe harvest normally starts late September and continues until the vendace are ready for spawning around late October. Around three million pounds of the fish are taken every year, separated by hand according to sex. The fish are typically about six to eight inches long, with each female carrying no more than about a tenth to a fifth of an ounce of roe. After it’s removed, the roe is rinsed, dried, and salted, then usually frozen. The laboriousness of the process accounts for its comparative rarity, and its price — officially about 400€ a kilo.
Kalix Löjrom is often served at at important banquets such as royal dinners and the Nobel prize banquets. Michelin star restaurant Aquavit in London and New York also serves this nordic caviar on its menu.
The most common way Löjrom is served in Sweden is with creme fraiche, diced red onion & chives, a slice of lemon, a dill sprig and either toasted bread or blini. You will also often find löjrom as a garnish (on Toast Skagen with prawns for example) or in sauces.
The fishing for harvest of Kalix Löjrom is done with the utmost care for the marine environment.