Smoked Wild Trout

Fish, sea food and fish products - Romania

The smoked wild trout (pastrav afumat) from Bucovina, a region in northern Romania, is a product that is becoming increasingly more difficult to find. First of all, it must be prepared from wild trout. Then, the conservation is achieved using smoke from oak wood, over a period of four to five days. The amount of smoke and the precise length of the smoking process are skills known by only a handful of elderly people. Finally, the trout is wrapped in fir branches, and can be stored in a cold place, but not the refrigerator, for two to three weeks. The smoking of the fish originated five centuries ago, when, of course, it was one of the few methods of dish conservation. Nowadays, a festival highlighting the smoked trout is held each autumn in the village of Sadova, in northern Romania. By the early-2010s, it was estimated that less than 100 kg of this smoked fish was being produced each year. It can only be bought directly from the producers in the area. This is due to the fact that the wild trout is becoming more rare in the area, and the know-how associated with the smoking technique is held mainly by elderly people in the area. Younger villagers are not interested in learning this trade because of the low economic gains.