Romanian bighead carp achieves protected geographical indication

by Thomas Jensen


Novac afumat din Tara Bârsei, a type of Romanian bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), won protected geographical indication (PGI) status from the European Commission in March 2017. The bighead carp is reared in the Barsa region in mountainous central Romania for three years before being harvested. The environmental conditions and the three-year rearing period result in a fish that is lower in fat than the same species cultivated in the lowlands. The fish is processed into fillets which are then smoked employing traditional local salting and smoking techniques using sawdust from beech. The process gives the fillets a golden-yellow to brown lustre, a firm texture, and a smoky flavour. The PGI status is based on the fact that since time immemorial, the people of this region have practiced fishing and fish preservation methods, including hot smoking using beech sawdust. The application for PGI status was driven by Doripesco, a fish farming and processing company that focuses on high quality niche products.

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