The Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway are known worldwide for their natural scenery. They might, however, be slightly lesser known for the tradition of drying fish on wooden racks, commonly known as stockfish. This is an old tradition with roots hundreds of years back in time. The fish is hung on the wooden racks(hjell) and dried during the winter season, from around February to May. Stable cool weather protects the fish from insects and bacterial growth, and the climate in northern Norway is well fit for this old technique. I visited the Islands this winter, and was struck by the presence of the heavy stocked fish racks present almost all around the shores, which are empty during the busier summer months.
Photograph by Øystein Aspelund