Saturday, January 13, 2018


4.2 ounce can

Servings: 1

389 calories    Calories from fat 193
In my childhood my parents often prepared dishes featuring cod fish. In those days long gone by, the fisherman would hand process their daily catch and preserve the fish in salt. It was way too early for the smaller fishing boats to feature refrigerated fish holds. As a result, the salted cod fish came to the market in little wooden boxes.  As you can imagine, cooking with salt cod is dramatically different than cooking with fresh or frozen codfish.
I have many old family recipes calling for salt cod. I have made the required changes and prepared them with frozen cod. They are good but they seem to lack a “certain something,” the slightly different, more energetic taste that you get from real salt cod; the taste that I remember from family meals back when.
(From The CityCook, Inc. - Why would we eat salt cod when we can have fresh fish? The answer is flavor. When white fish is saturated with salt and dried, amino acids and other chemical changes occur in the fish. This produces a chewier texture and milder, almost sweet, yet still fishy taste than its fresh counterpart.)
 Some years ago I had the urge to prepare foods for my children that were like the meals that I had as a child. Finding salt cod was not impossible but it was not easy either. Alas, for the most part those little wooden boxes are almost a thing of the ancient past. Atlantic Canada, Scandinavia and Portugal are sources of salt cod. Unless you just happen to live next door to a rare over the counter sales emporium, you have to buy online and pay a premium for shipping the vacuumed-sealed bags of dried and salted cod.

A little searching finally located a California company that is reasonable in price and doesn’t gouge for shipping.  On occasion I do buy some salt cod and make bacalhau the old-fashioned way. While I was making my last salt cod order I came across a listing for these small, single-serving cans of codfish. They were not too expensive; about $3.98 a can. Shipping charges were for the order so I added a couple of cans just to see what they are like; a bit of cod without the hassle of making a large portion.

The codfish is packed in oil with traces of onion.  The fish has been lightly smoked and the skin is intact.

Although the can says a single serving I found the product rich and ½ of the filet made two open faced sandwiches. It has a delicate smoked taste and no trace of salt or brine, once the filet is spread on the bread the texture resembles that of smoked herring or sardines from a can. Care must be taken as the filet does contain some bones.

 I enjoyed the meal of BACALHAU A PORTUGUESA.  Whenever I reorder some salt cod I will also order a couple more cans of this fish to keep on the shelf to satisfy an unexpected craving. I suspect, if you like good quality fish, you will too.

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