Bacalhau as a representative of Portuguese gastronomy
If you’ve ever read or learned about cooking, I’m sure that when you hear about bacalhau you automatically associate it with Portugal.
Bacalhau is one of Portugal’s most famous foods, and for this reason it represents Portuguese gastronomy, being the most consumed fish in the entire country.
By doing a short introduction about the history of codfish, we understand that already 2000 years ago, during the height of the Roman Empire that extended throughout Europe and even to the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal already distinguished itself in the drying of fish. In fact, at that time, Portugal was the largest supplier of canned fish to the entire empire. Even when the trade routes of the Roman Empire began to lose importance, the Portuguese fishing and fish preserving industries survived well over the centuries.Every kind of fish that was caught off the Portuguese coast was cured with abundant salt and dried in the sun, to ensure a long life for the ingredient, not only locally, but even more so to be transported to various parts of the country and the continent, as was the case with codfish.
The Portuguese thus became the largest consumers and sellers of cod in Europe. This ingredient is also widely used in several traditional Portuguese dishes, because of the many ways it can be prepared and eaten.This way, we present some suggestions of starters and main dishes based on codfish that are very well known in our country.
As a starter it is served in the form of codfish cakes, “pataniscas”, or even raw, for example the codfish salad, that can be accompanied with bread.For the main course there are multiple recipes and ways to cook cod. However, the most well-known dishes are the Gomes de Sá style codfish, codfish à Brás, codfish with cream, codfish with cornbread, fried codfish, or the usual and simple cut of codfish with potatoes and vegetables.
The codfish is considered the most appreciated fish dish by the Portuguese, because it is comprehensive, cheap, delicious, and mainly because it is national.
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