Norwegian Dried Cod Gets Protected Status

In an exciting development for lovers of preserved fish everywhere, Norwegian dried cod has been granted the same exalted "protected designation of origin" status as such delicacies as Champagne, Parma ham, and Feta cheese.

According to The Local, the "Tørrfisk fra Lofoten" label can now only be applied to Norwegian air-dried, unsalted cod. The dried fish was one of Norway's first exports and has been produced in the Lofoten and Vesterâlen islands since the 12th century. Now, for the first time, producers in other areas are prohibited from calling their dried cod Tørrfisk fra Lofoten, which should help Norway's dried fish producers protect their prices from competitors.

"This is absolutely stunning," said Nina Wærnes Hegdahl, head of a Norwegian food promotion agency. "This is a milestone for Norway and a breakthrough for dried fish. This is the strongest protection a food product can get."

Dried fish producer Olaf Johan Pedersen said he was very excited by the new label and thought it would make a big difference in business.

"The labeling scheme is a recognition that the product is special and has a special and unique history," he said. "This is a great opportunity to market Tørrfisk."