Saturday, February 28, 2015

Torskrom - A Not-So-Talked-About Swedish Delicacy

I can't remember if it was last year or the year before but suddenly my husband started talking about torskrom, or cod’s roe, in English. If you are not familiar with roe, that means caviar, or less fancy, fish eggs. He talked about how much he loved eating it when he was a kid, how delicious it was and "oh you have to try it" and "I'm going to get some and cook it for you.” I started getting excited myself. I mean, it sounded really interesting and I'm usually pretty open to trying new things. 

The next time we were at the fish market he asked if torskrom was available. Unfortunately it was not in season and wouldn't be available until the following April, nearly a year away. So time passed and the torskrom was put on the back shelf of our minds. Then, just a few weeks ago my mother-in-law mentioned that she had cooked torskrom for dinner. It was apparently in season already! The following weekend we headed to the market to hopefully buy some ourselves. Excitement brewing.

Now keep in mind, at this point all I know is that this stuff is delicious and the cat is going to go nuts for it. We walk up to the fish counter and my husband asks if they have any. The woman asks how much he wants and he says, “Ett par byxor,” which means “a pair of pants.” Pants? The woman reaches down and pulls up what looked to me like a pair of lungs. With dark veins running through them. Oh. My. God. Did I actually say I would try this? And what about these pants?

In addition to the torskrom we bought some fresh dill, boiled shrimp, a bottle of wine, and then made a stop by the gourmet cheese counter and bakery. As we made our way back to the apartment I wondered how he planned to cook our pants, er torskrom. Apparently very carefully. 

When we arrived home he got to work. The torskrom is very delicate, even though it is surrounded by a thin, skin-like membrane, so wrapping it in parchment paper protects it from exploding or leaking as you boil it in heavily salted water with lots of fresh dill. After it has boiled for about forty minutes you must allow it to cool in its brine.  

It is served in thick slices, outer membrane removed, with lemon wedges. The verdict? I liked it and I would eat it again but for me it wasn't going to replace my own favorite delicacies of shrimp and crab. And the cat? Well, she completely turned her prissy nose up at it. My husband said his childhood cat, Onödan (which means means "the unnecessary" in Swedish), went crazy for it. You never know with cats. 

Cod’s roe, is only available fresh at certain times of the year. It just so happens to be that time of year right now and, according to the guy at the Hötorget fish market, on our second visit to buy torskrom, it will be available from now on up until around April. (Lucky us!)

Will you run out and try it now? I’d love to hear what you think if and when you do. ;-)


  1. Not a sliver of a chance that I would try that! But I won't even eat chicken eggs, so maybe I'm not the most gastronomically adventurous person. I would be suspicious that since the cat rejected it, that it knew something that I didn't know.

    1. Haha! Well, I can understand your reservations. Chicken eggs sometimes freak me out too.