Bacalhau dishes are common in Portugal and Galicia, in the northwest of Spain, and to a lesser extent in former Portuguese colonies like Cape Verde,Angola, Macau, Brazil, and Goa. There are said to be over 1000 recipes in Portugal alone and it can be considered the iconic ingredient of Portuguese cuisine (but curiously the only fish that is not consumed fresh in this fish-loving nation). It is often cooked on social occasions and is the Portuguese traditional Christmas dinner in some parts of Portugal.
Dried and salted cod or salt cod is cod which has been preserved by drying after salting. Cod which has been dried without the addition of salt is stockfish. Salt cod was long a major export of the North Atlantic region, and has become an ingredient of many cuisines around the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean.
With the sharp decline in the world stocks of cod due to overfishing, other salted and dried white fish are sometimes labeled as “salt cod”, so the term has become to some extent a generic name.
Dried and salted cod has been produced in Norway, Newfoundland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands for over 500 years. Traditionally it was dried outdoors by the wind and sun, but today it is usually dried indoors with the aid of electric heaters.
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