Chip shop’s fact-find­ing Nor­way trip

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - TOM HOUGHTON tom.houghton@waleson­

THEY may have just been named the best fish and chip shop in Wales and in the UK’s top 10, but this Cynon Val­ley fish shop has gone on a cod and had­dock fact find­ing mis­sion – to Nor­way.

Staff from Pe­naluna’s Fa­mous Fish and Chips in Hir­waun trav­elled to the western shores of the Scan­di­na­vian coun­try on an ed­u­ca­tional trip to see its ‘white­gold’ cod and had­dock - two of the most pop­u­lar species used by Bri­tish fish and chip shops.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Pe­naluna’s and eight other shops, all in the run­ning to be crowned the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year as part of the 30th an­niver­sary Na­tional Fish and Chip Award or­gan­ised by Seafish, vis­ited the port city of Åle­sund to dis­cover the facts sur­round­ing one of the largest sus­tain­able cod and had­dock stocks in the world. The trip gave fi­nal­ists the chance to learn about the sup­ply chain of Frozen at Sea (FAS) white­fish, which Nor­way has been sup­ply­ing to the UK for al­most 70 years.

The staff ex­pe­ri­enced how the coun­try pro­vides the per­fect liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment for cod, and stepped aboard the Geir II ship one of the newest long­line fish­ing ves­sels in the world.

They jour­neyed out on the Nor­we­gian waters and un­cov­ered the sci­ence be­hind the coun­try’s sus­tain­able fish­eries man­age­ment pro­gram while wit­ness­ing the en­tire fish­ing process; from bait­ing and ‘shoot­ing’ the lines, to pro­cess­ing and freez­ing while out at sea.

Re­turn­ing to land, fi­nal­ists had a chance to ex­change knowl­edge with top Nor­we­gian chefs; shar­ing the back­ground and his­tory of fish and chips, while learn­ing tra­di­tional cured Nordic cod recipes with Lute­fisk and Ba­calao at The Klipp­fisk Academy Cook­ery School.

Hans Frode Kiel­land As­myhr, UK direc­tor of the Nor­we­gian Seafood Coun­cil, said: “Fish and Chips con­tin­ues to be one of the na­tion’s favourite dishes.

“This ad­dic­tion has eas­ily helped the UK be­come one of the world’s big­gest mar­kets for both cod and had­dock. But with de­mand out­weigh­ing sup­plies, the UK must also rely on im­ports. Over the last 70 years, Nor­way has played a vi­tal role to help sat­isfy this de­mand from one of the most abun­dant and sci­en­tif­i­cally man­aged stocks in the world.

The win­ner of the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year Award will be an­nounced in Lon­don in Jan­uary.

An­ten­dees from the Bri­tish chip­pies on the Nor­way trip – in­clud­ing staff from Pe­naluna’s Fa­mous Fish and Chips in Hir­waun – to see its ‘white­gold’ cod and had­dock – two of the most pop­u­lar species used by shops

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