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The Project

Bottarga Borealis is a product of Jonas Juselius and his lifelong interest in food and cuisine

Bottarga Borealis started with Dr. Jonas Juselius (PhD in Chemistry) and his lifelong interest in food and cuisine. After reading about bottarga in a cooking forum, he decided to experiment with local ingredients to make his own version. Since skrei (Gadus Morhua) was locally available and is considered one of the most exquisite cod species in the world, he chose to try with that. His first attempt saw good results, and the decision to transform this experiment into something more seemed only natural.

Jonas shared his idea with Joakim Wikström, a Swede with an extensive background in the food and hospitality sectors. They both saw the potential of bottarga made with skrei, and Joakim enrolled at Tromsø University with the goal of developing the idea into a viable business venture.

Three years later, Joakim met Lia Berti, an Italian student with a strong interest in food. They were both at the beginning of their master’s studies in Business Creation and Entrepreneurship. Because of her interest in the culinary scene and her Italian cultural background, Lia was asked to write her master thesis on Hrogn AS, the company that Joakim and Jonas had established. The goal was to set up a business plan and to conduct market research. The results showed a strong potential for skrei bottarga, especially within the Italian market. The company then attracted both public and private investors, and Lia formally joined the venture shortly after.

 

In January 2017 the first real “big scale” production began, with the goal of producing skrei bottarga and presenting it on the international market – in particular the high-end Italian Ho.Re.Ca market.

ARCTIC NORWAY

TROMSØ

Tromsø is a seaside municipality located 350 km north of the Arctic Circle,

and it is considered by many to be the gateway to the North Pole

Although it is located in the arctic part of Norway – on the 69° parallel – Tromsø benefits from having a temperate climate.  Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Tromsø’s harbours are free from ice in the winter. During the month of January temperatures stay around -4°C/ 25ºF and hardly dip below -10°C/ 14ºF. The city center and most of the population reside on the island of Tromsøya, which is connected by bridges to the island of Kvaløya to the west and to the mainland to the east. Once the domain of fishermen and explorers, Tromsø now has the world’s northernmost university and is one of the best travel destinations for those interested in seeing the Northern Lights. Bottarga Borealis is made on Kvaløya island, in the small village of Kvaløyvågen.

From the 23rd of November to the 18th of January, Tromsø experiences the polar night. During this period, the sun never rises above the horizon, and the region is cloaked in a deep blue light that reflects softly off the winter snow. For a few hours around midday, the sky is often ablaze in a dance of pink and orange until the darkness of night returns and all becomes blue again while the aurora borealis streaks the sky.

 

The 21st of May to the 23rd of July is the time of the midnight sun. During this summer period, the sun never sets, and the landscape is bathed in a brilliant golden glow.