That the deep reddish-gold caviar from Kalix, the so-called Kalixlöjrom, is a delicacy is nothing new. What is new, is that the delectable caviar now can boast to be in the same company as Champagne and Parmesan cheese: Kalixlöjrom is the first Swedish product to be protected under the so-called Protected Geographical Status, defined in European Union law to protect the names of regional foods.
Foods such as Gorgonzola and Champagne can only be labeled as such if they come from the designated region. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that fishermen started fishing for löjrom in Kalix, and it wasn’t until a decade later that well-known restaurateur Tore Wretman made it famous by using it in the dish he created known as Toast Skagen.
Only three suppliers of the Kalix caviar are certified with the seal that means the product has the Protected Geographical Status. Explains Kent Karlsson, fisherman and part owner of Guldhaven AB, one of the suppliers: “The caviar has to have a certain texture, but what’s more important is that you handle it quickly, within 24 hours of catching the fish. It’s no good if you leave the fish for 48 hours.” Karlsson also says that it is important to go after those who claim to be selling Kalixlöjrom but who carry no seal. “It’s a fraud. There’s fake caviar coming from Finland, Germany, Russia and the US. Nobody’s trying to fool around with Champagne or Parmesan cheese, because they know that the punishment is severe.”