Bacalhau (codfish, a must-try!), Portugal’s dried, faithful friend & luxury food shop Manteigaria Silva Lisbon
The Portuguese have a very long history with codfish: shortly after Columbus (about 500 years ago) discovered America, the Portuguese were fishing for cod near NewFoundland. They were the first Europeans to do so. The nickname of bacalhau is ‘fiel amigo’ (faithful friend).
Lisbon luxury food shop Manteigaria Silva , Rua D. Antao de Almada 1 Lisbon
When you stay in Lisbon or in the wonderful country Portugal, a must-try is bacalhau (dried and salted cod). The Portuguese adore it and it’s said that they know 365 different ways to cook it…one for each day of the year!
The smell of dried and salted bacalhau is odd and penetrating……pfffffff… but the taste is absolutely delicious when cooked!
Bacaolada, traditional Portuguese bacalhau dish. Bacalhau deserves a good wine: green (Vinho Verde) or mature wines, from Alentejo, Dão or Douro.
For at least 500 years ago the Portuguese learned how to salt cod at sea and sun-dry it. It keeps for many months this way without refrigeration. And then it requires being soaked for 24 hours in changes of water before being used to prepare a dish. The soaking reconstitutes the fish and gets rid of the excessive salt also. Even today, where refrigeration isn’t a problem, the Portuguese have not lost their love for bacalhau. Dishes based on this main ingredient are sure to be a part of most holiday and other celebrations. It’s a staple of the Portuguese diet and you’ll find it prepared in all Portuguese homes and (cheap) restaurants.
One of the reasons for the popularity of bacalhau in Portugal and other catholic countries, was because of the many days on which the Church forbade the eating of meat.
Very popular: ‘bacalhau à brás’, made from thin strips of cod mixed with onions, and thin strips of potatoes bound by eggs.
Bacalhau á Gomes de Sá, cooked in a casserole with thinly sliced potatoes and onions, garnished with hard-boiled eggs and black olives.
This recipe was invented by Jose Luis Gomes de Sá Jr., the son of a rich nineteenth century merchant (apparently he dealt in cod) in Porto. The family fortune dwindled and the son had to find a job at the famous restaurant Lisbonense in downtown Porto. It was there that he created the now well known recipe.
Besides: Pastéis de Bacalhau (codfish pastry), croquetes. A delicacy and a good idea with a cold glass of Portuguese white wine or beer on tap(imperial)!