EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 52022XC1219(01)

Publication of an application for registration of a name pursuant to Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs 2022/C 481/05


OJ C 481, 19.12.2022, p. 8–10 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 481/8

Publication of an application for registration of a name pursuant to Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs

(2022/C 481/05)

This publication confers the right to oppose the application pursuant to Article 51 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1) within three months from the date of this publication.


‘Rökt Vättersik’

EU No: PDO-SE-02591 – 7.11.2019

PDO (x) PGI ( )

1.   Name(s) [of PDO or PGI]

‘Rökt Vättersik’

2.   Member State or Third Country


3.   Description of the agricultural product or foodstuff

3.1.    Type of product

Class 1.7. Fresh fish, molluscs, and crustaceans and products derived therefrom

3.2.    Description of the product to which the name in (1) applies

‘Rökt Vättersik’ is a whitefish (Coregonus ssp.) from Lake Vättern that is smoked in a smokehouse.

‘Rökt Vättersik’ is sold unpackaged or vacuum-packed for added shelf life.

It has the following characteristics:

Size: Usually between 0,3 and 0,6 kg, but larger specimens are possible.

Fat: 0,5-2,5 %. The fat content varies according to the catch site.

Outer colour: From dark nougat with a violet tinge (back) and dark cafe latte with a brassy tinge (belly) to a light brassy sheen.

Meat colour: Varied light and darker shades of caput mortuum with a tinge of nougat.

Consistency: The fish meat has a distinctly cooked feel, and is pleasantly firm to the bite.

Flavour: Deep salty flavour and a distinct smoky taste, with a slight sweet-sour note of tar.

Aroma: A deep, distinct aroma of smoke.

3.3.    Feed (for products of animal origin only) and raw materials (for processed products only)

The whitefish mainly feed on glacial relict small crustaceans (Mysis sp., Pallasea sp. and Pontoporeia sp.), fish roe, gastropods, mussels, crustaceans and small fish naturally present in Lake Vättern.

Whitefish (Coregonus ssp.) from Lake Vättern, known as ‘Vättersik’.

3.4.    Specific steps in production that must take place in the identified geographical area

All steps in production, from catching the fish, naturally present in Lake Vättern, to producing ‘Rökt Vättersik’ by then smoking the fish, must take place in the geographical area described in (4).

3.5.    Specific rules concerning slicing, grating, packaging, etc. of the product the registered name refers to

3.6.    Specific rules concerning labelling of the product the registered name refers to

4.   Concise definition of the geographical area

The production area of ‘Rökt Vättersik’ consists of Lake Vättern and the surrounding land within a radius of 10 km of the waterline at normal water levels.

5.   Link with the geographical area

The link between the geographical area and the characteristics of ‘Rökt Vättersik’ are based on both the natural conditions in the geographical area and on human factors.

Description of the natural factors relevant to the link

Lake Vättern, the fifth-largest lake in Europe, was separated from what is now the Baltic Sea around 8 000 years ago. Today the surface of the lake is 88,5 m above the level of the Baltic Sea.

Isolation from other water systems meant that the whitefish (Coregonus ssp.) population of Lake Vättern developed separately from other whitefish populations and is now genetically distinct from other whitefish populations.

Lake Vättern is a typical nutrient-poor coldwater lake (average water temperature is around 10 °C) with clear water (water transparency is around 15 m) and slow water exchange (around 60 years).

The cold water provides a good habitat for typical coldwater species, such as the Lake Vättern whitefish, and for the glacial relict crustaceans that constitute its main source of food.

As a result of the cold, nutrient-poor water of Lake Vättern, the whitefish in Lake Vättern are leaner (fat content 0,5-2,5 %, depending on the time of year and catch site) and smaller in size (usually 0,3-0,6 kg) than whitefish caught in other water systems.

Its low fat content gives ‘Rökt Vättersik’ distinctly firmer flesh, and a pleasanter firmness to the bite, than other types of smoked fish commonly available on the market. The low fat content also helps make the taste of ‘Rökt Vättersik’ more subtle and elegant than that of other common types of smoked fish.

Description of the human factors relevant to the geographical link

From a historical perspective, the production of ‘Rökt Vättersik’ has been of great importance for the people living by Lake Vättern. Traditionally fishermen smoked and sold ‘Rökt Vättersik’ themselves. This tradition still lives on, even if today there are also those who only either fish or smoke whitefish from Lake Vättern.

Fishing and smoking whitefish is a traditional craft based on knowledge of such factors as the behaviour of Lake Vättern whitefish and how to smoke lean fish, gained over the generations and often passed down within families.

The whitefish is present at different points around Lake Vättern and at different depths, depending on factors such as food supply and the time of year. In the period between August and November, the whitefish live in shallow waters at a depth of no more than 30 metres, near spawning sites. From December, the whitefish move in increasingly deep waters, so that by the end of February they are fished for at a depth of 90-120 metres. The food supply is greater in the shallower areas of Lake Vättern in spring, meaning that the whitefish return to the shallower areas of the lake.

When fishing for the whitefish, fishermen must be familiar with its seasonal migration patterns as it searches for food. They select fishing grounds on the lake where the whitefish is most likely to be present at that particular time.

When the whitefish is smoked, the smoking must be adjusted to a number of factors for the product to achieve the characteristics of ‘Rökt Vättersik’. The smoking process must be adapted to factors such as the season, climate and air pressure. The fishing grounds and fishing period – the time of the year at which the whitefish is caught – also affect the smoking process, as the fat content of the fish varies.

Knowledge of the special characteristics of each smokehouse – how much smoke the oven produces and how it is distributed within the oven – is also of decisive importance for the characteristics of the finished product.

As each smokehouse has its own special characteristics, smokers follow a smoking procedure adapted to their own smokehouse. Depending on the design of the smokehouse, the whitefish may need to be moved around inside the smokehouse during the smoking process to ensure it is smoked evenly. The development of the smoke inside the smokehouse is controlled by alternate use of dried and soaked or freshly cut wood.

The time required for smoking varies depending on the temperature (usually 70-80 °C) and the development of the smoke in the smokehouse. The smoker decides when the whitefish is ready by checking its texture, smelling the fish and feeling how tight the fins are.

Reference to publication of the product specification

(1)  OJ L 343, 14.12.2012, p. 1.