|Salted Canadian Cod at Whole Foods for sale in Massachusetts|
We have aquired a healthy habit of eating fresh caught local New England cod. However while grocery shopping this afternoon I found one of my favorite foods, "Dry Salted Cod", my favorite is baked salted cod, I enjoy it Portuguese style which is baked in the oven with onions, black olives, hard boiled eggs, potatoes and lots of extra virgin olive oil, it is beyond delicious, it reminds me of Sunday dinners with family back in Brazil.
|Baked Salted Cod Portuguese style, known as Bacalhau in Brazil|
Bacalhau or Salted Cod is today found in Northern European cuisines as well as in Brazil, Portugal, Italy, parts of France and Spain.
Salted Cod has been traditionaly produced by Canada, Iceland, Norway and Portugal for half a milenia.
The name Bacalhau is originated with the Native Americans of the Newfoundland region from the mouth of the St.Lawrence River in Canada, when Scandinavian settlers arrived in the area some 500 hundred years ago, they learned how to Dry and Salt the Cod to preserve it, the Native Americans called it Bacal, hence the name Bacalhau.
Drying preserves many nutrients and is said to make the codfish tastier.
The Scandinavians, notabily the Norwegians adopted this cheap and practical preserving method learned from the Newfoundland natives and required lots of salt which was found in Portugual, Spain and southern Italy.
The Norwegians tradionaly fished the Grand banks off Newfoundland for lots of fresh cod but needed the Salt found in Portugal, so a natural trade interest was always found between the two nations.
|Salted Cod is an expensive fish, here is a sample from a Whole Foods in New England|
There are many different qualities of Salted Cod, or Bacalhau, they usually vary by the way they are caught and the processes used to preserve them, the highest quality and most expensive Salted Cod are caught by a fish line and not fishing nets which cause bruising on the filets.
The best quality Salted Cod are when the fish's head is cut off while still alive and quickly salted on the boat.
New England has a strong Portuguese influence due to heavy Portuguese immigration to the area so Bacalhau or Salted Cod is easily found at stores around the area and you can find wonderful "Baked Bacalhau" at typical Portuguese restaurants in parts of the Boston Metro that have the heaviest concentration of Portuguese immigrants such as Fall River and New Bedford in Southern Massachusetts and East Providence in Rhode Island.
Our favorite restaurant for a typical Portuguese style Bacalhau in the Boston Region is Madeira Portuguese Restaurant in East Providence, Rhode Island, some 35 miles south of Boston.
|Downtown New Bedford, Massachusetts, heavy Portuguese immigration|
|Portuguese American fisherman, fishing for Cod in Newport, Rhode Island|