Salt Cod

Salting, drying, and then soaking the cod makes it milder but meatier. A lot of people prefer bacalao to fresh cod. I guess that’s the simplest answer.

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That looks much better than what I’ve had, which was a tomato based dish. I know I’m in the minority, baccala is quite popular in my area, thanks to the strong Italian tradition and the recent influx of Mexican people. The old Italians are now buying their baccala at Mexican corner stores.
I’'ll stick to the fresh fish monger.

I don’t think of it as an either/or.

Its a pretty common sight in my corner of Canada.

When Jacques Cartier initially came to Canada, the shores of terre neuve were already a common fishing spot for Breton, Norman and Basque fishermen.

The banks of cod were so large that fishermen never saw a day that it would ran out. Unfortunately, it was overexploited and the whole cod economy collapsed in the 90’s.

I think the heavily salted cods are a pretty traditional way of preserving the stuff. We do have access to the fresh stuff however (here’s Montreal largest fish supplyer I don’t eat a lot of fish but I do like “acras de morue” (cod fritters) once in a while:

I think I’ve seen some fish and chip shops use cod also.

This would sadden every single Portuguese if they heard it. Bacalhau is Portugal’s national food and is deeply deeply ingrained in its history and food culture. For such a small country, which was once powerful, its culinary contributions to the world are massive. Maritime explorers and colonists brought with them on long voyages salted cod/ bacalhau.

Also, it should not be mushy.


I’m going to try that cod fritters recipe. Thanks Cap.

Please give me feedback on it!

I never tried Ricardo’s version but he is a “safe” chef where recipes from my neck of the wood are concerned. There could be better variants but with him you usually get to the core of what’s important taste wise with some adjustments to be done.

I always do that with recipes anyway. Try then once ‘as is’ & then adjust to my taste. I’ll let you know. Won’t be right away - my menu is already booked up for this weekend.

Dry and fresh are not entirely interchangeable. There’s a Mediterranean-style codfish stew I like to make (Spanish or Provençal, depending on the seasoning), and while it’s okay made with fresh cod it’s much better with salt. There’s also a classic French bistro dish I love, Morue à la Savoyard, that requires salt cod to work at all.

I feel the same way about canned corn, frankly. As much as I love fresh corn, canned is the only kind I’ll use for our favorite succotash, rather than either fresh or frozen.



Thought of this thread when I saw that video.

Salt cod has a cured quality (!) that fresh cod lacks.

Well, sure … as ham has a cured quality plain pork leg lacks!

Someone earlier here brought up the example of canned vs fresh tuna. It’s always annoyed the whee out of me to see some know-it-all chef “improve” such dishes as vitello tonnato by using fresh tuna, under the dreadfully mistaken impression that the canned article is necessarily inferior. If you’re talking Bumblebee Chunk Light in water, maybe, but even an adequate oil-packed canned tuna makes a credible sauce, whereas the seared fresh stuff adds nothing but maybe some ill-informed buzz for that restaurant.


is it like Lutefisk?

Nope. No lye in salt cod. No lie.

No, no, no. Not jellylike at all.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold