Jacob Bjørge AS has long experience in the production of dried salted fish and the company's main focus is quality. All our dried salted fish is produced from line-caught fish, which ensures the best result. The company was established in 1937 on the island called Ellingsøy outside of Ålesund on the west coast of Norway. The company produces dried salted fish the traditional way where time and handcrafting still is important. Annual production is approximately 3,000 metric tons. Jacob Bjørge AS is still family owned and today it is run by the fourth generation.
We have always had a stable workforce. This ensures a high level of expertise and professional skills. Today we have around 20 employees.
Bjørge & Co
Bjørge & Co AS is owned by Jacob Bjørge AS, and was established in 1982. Bjørge & Co is responsible for all sales, and the two companies work closely together to make sure to deliver a product of high quality. Our main focus is to develop current markets and explore new possibilities based on the production from Jacob Bjørge AS.
The export and sales company serves the clients with top quality dried salted fish. The raw material is caught by Norwegian long line vessels and guarantees a thick, white fish that flakes on the plate when served. Customers can expect good service and continuity when working with the company.
We are proud to work the JACOB brand which is based on 100% Norwegian longline raw material that has enabled us to build up the position as the leading quality supplier of dried salted cod, ling and tusk in Norway.
The history of bacalhau
The Spaniards were already salting and drying cod in the 15th century, and the method originated in the Bay of Biscay and Spanish fishermen's activity at 'Terra do bacalhau' in New Foundland. The processing method came to Norway in around 1640. Until modern times, the salt fish was dried on rocks and rock faces.
Dried salted fish
The difference between wetsalted fish and bacalhau is that bacalhau has been dried. The salted sides of cod were formerly laid out on rocks and rock faces to dry. This took place in the months of April and May.
Bacalhau as a raw foodstuff enjoys a strong position in the food culture in a number of the Latin countries. The tradition is so strong in Portugal that people talk about there being fish, meat, poultry and 'bacalhau' dishes. On average, a person from Portugal eats 10 kg of dried salted fish per year. It is used in thousands of dishes and the methods of preparation vary from boiling, deep-frying, frying, baking in parcels and grounding to grilling and baking in the oven.
In several of these counties the simplest way of explaining that you are Norwegian is to say that you come from 'the bacalao country', which pretty much says it all.
The salt fish had to be washed before it was laid out to dry - partly because this brought out the good white colour of the fish. This was manual work that was carried out in wooden vats, largely by women.
Norway has a long history of exporting bacalhau around the world. Things have not always been, however, as mechanised as they are today.
Bacalao is in high demand many places in the world. The best-known 'bacalao countries' are Italy, Spain, Portugal and Brazil, and Norway has a long-standing tradition of exporting dried salted fish to these countries.