Innovative trout from Krakow
It's undoubtedly the most acclaimed fish in all of Poland. Even though Pstrąg Ojcowski, the Ojców trout, can be sampled in the finest Polish restaurants, for best results it must be sampled in its own habitat - just outside Krakow: in the heart of Ojców National Park.
The reinstatement of trout farming in Ojców is the work of a mother and a daughter: Magdalena Węgiel and Agnieszka Sendor. Recently they won a highly prestigious competition: The Innovation Award for Women Farmers 2018. Ojców trout, together with other excellent products from the Małopolska region was present also at Salone del Gusto.
What is unique about this trout farm is that it not only keeps the more popular and easier to breed rainbow trout variety, but also a true gem - Salmo trutta fario - the river trout. Widely available in the shops, rainbow trout comes originally from North America and was brought to Poland at the end of the 19th century. Rainbout trout takes 18 months to grow before it reaches its fully mature adult size. On the other hand, a one-year-old river trout weights only about a dozen grams. “We catch the river trout only when it is 36 months old. That is why they cost double the price of rainbow trout”, explains Magdalena Węgiel. Some river trout from Ojców ponds were caught and then released into Polish rivers where the trout population has been consistently declining over the years.
There is an educational trail next to the ponds that goes into detail about the intricacies of trout life. There is also an open-air decking area with tables where you can savour mouth-watering smoked or barbequed trout, drink craft beer or local wines.
Ojców trout is a traditional Małopolska region product registered on the List of Traditional Products held by the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The company itself belongs to the European Network of Regional Culinary Heritage and was granted the Made in Małopolska brand in recognition of its uniqueness. Moreover, the company was awarded numerous quality certificates, including two titles granted by KUKBUK magazine.
The two ladies who run the ponds in Ojców have also won, among many other honours, 2nd place in the 2017 nationwide competition for women farmers acting as innovation drivers in Poland. The contest is organised by the National Council of Chambers of Agriculture on the initiative of the Council for Women and Families from Rural Areas and run under the auspices of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and the President of the Agricultural Social Insurance Fund.