Swedish delicacy

Rush for "red gold" drives up price of roe

The global economy may be teetering and the price of raw materials sinking, but one item is swimming against the stream – Kalix roe from northern Sweden. “The Norwegians have oil but we’ve got red gold,” Tryggve Bergman, told Aftonbladet newspaper.

Demand for raw materials, even gold and oil, have been affected by the weak economy. But there is one product that seems to be bucking the trend: Kalix roe, also known as red gold from the Gulf of Bothnia, writes Aftonbladet.

Kalix roe season started September 20, and continues to the end of October. About 50 tons of roe are expected to be harvested this year, and the price has gone up 10 percent compared with last year.

“Since 2006 the demand has shot sky high, almost tripling prices. That is an incredible development,” Bergman, chairperson of Matproducenterna norr – an organisation of local food producers from northern Sweden – and the man behind the EU’s first protection of the Kalix roe, told Aftonbladet.

Kalix roe costs about 300 US dollars a kilo this season. “Harrods in London also sells our roe now. Never before in my 25 years in this industry has the interest in Kalix roe been so big,” said

He attributes its popularity to three things: clean brackish archipelago water, bedrock minerals brought down by mountain streams and rivers and the special diet of vendace fish.