• Anja Nguyen

Latin Beat for Baltic Herring

I ate a light meal before joining the call with the FishVerd team because I knew for sure that I would be hungry if I didn’t eat anything. After all, we would be talking about food.


The perks of online networking

FishVerd consists of four members. While the trio Daria, Ksenia, and Nitin are based in Finland; Jorge is living and working in Peru. Nitin and Ksenia knew each other before the start of Feeding the Future. Daria and Jorge joined them to make a group of four right after our orientation - 24 hours before the actual race.


Finland-based members of FishVerd from left to right: Nitin, Ksenia and Daria.

This Hackathon event was brought to Nitin and Daria’s attention by their network. Nitin told Ksenia about the event, who, with her dedication to fish products, immediately found the Särkifood challenge an interesting opportunity and coaxed Nitin to join as she had a few recipe ideas for Baltic Herring. Daria joined for sheer fun and wanted to distract herself a bit from her full-time responsibilities running her own brewery. Finally, Jorge wanted to make use of his nutritional knowledge and found Feeding the Future, via Google. ‘’When I first registered as a participant in Feeding the Future, if the organizers had said sorry, you can’t join because you’re not in Finland, that would have been totally fine by me. However, luckily since everything is online now, I had no difficulties being a part of the community,” Jorge shared.


Ksenia and Nitin thought that they would have to participate in the Baltic Herring challenge as a team of two, but they came across Daria’s looking-for-a-team message on our Discord channel and quickly reached out to her on the Remo platform. In our orientation event, Jorge coincidentally jumped into their conversation and asked to join. Believe it or not, that was how FishVerd was formed, just 1 day before the official Hackathon.


FishVerd's puzzles: Jorge (upper left), Daria (upper right), Ksenia (lower left) and Nitin.

An online event can have several drawbacks; for instance, the technical difficulties in interacting between people. Still, one undeniable benefit is the fact that people from different regions (or even continents) are well-connected with the help of media platforms. FishVerd embodies the statement, “The perk of online networking is bringing people together.”


Baltic Herring Ceviche

Ceviche is a Latin American seafood dish that might have originated from Ecuador or Peru. The dish is made of freshly-cut seafood marinated in lemon and lime juice, served with chopped vegetables. Lime and lemon’s acidity changes the protein structure of the seafood, making it essentially ‘cooked’ without using any heat.


As a Peruvian, Jorge instantly came up with the idea to make ceviche from baltic herring, and the team members promptly agreed. They divided the workload, and barely met any difficulties even though Nitin and Ksenia were participating in another challenge, Daria was taking care of her brewery, and Jorge’s timezone was completely inverted.


“It was like we have been working together with each other for several years,” Daria commented, surprised at the pace and ease through which the teammates built chemistry.


FishVerd’s Hackathon process was extremely smooth because of two elements: their efficient brainstorming process and their team spirit. The team members managed to develop trust for each other and distributed their tasks in a smart way. Jorge’s inverted schedule was turned into an advantage - he would take over the work when the others were asleep. This way, FishVerd didn’t need a triple espresso to keep themselves energized throughout the 48-hour event.


“After talking to the sponsor, we understood his needs and quickly eliminated the recipes which we thought would not work for this purpose. And after Jorge suggested Ceviche, we all got really excited and knew this is what we wanted to work on,” Nitin shared, talking about the brainstorming process.


Initially, Daria, Jorge, Ksenia, and Nitin only followed their own interests and expertise and just wanted to do something different. However, after they started working together and making the first sketches, they knew they had a chance to win this challenge. That feeling became stronger as they reviewed their final work before submission: ‘’We worked very hard, we coordinated well and our team was just amazing. At that moment, winning was our goal.”


The team has decided to develop the product together with Särkifood and is determined to bring it to your tables. They’ve planned to meet up either in person or virtually every one or two weeks to arrange and discuss future intentions. Jorge can’t join them in person at the moment, being on another side of the globe, but he knows he is close at heart with his teammates Daria, Ksenia, and Nitin. FishVerd is extremely thrilled to see their idea become a reality.


Congratulations team Fishverd for nailing challenge 3

Are you curious to find out more about the idea that made them the champion in challenge 3? Check out here.

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