Bacalhau or Bacalao are a staple of the Portuguese cuisine. There are said to be 365 ways to cook Portuguese Bacalhau, one for each day of the year, and some say its over 1000 recipes in Portugal alone. The dried and salted cod exported mainly from Norway and Iceland were historically used because it was an affordable source of protein. In Norway, Bacalao is made from a few ingredients including dried and salted fish, potatoes, tomatoes, olives and onion. The fish first has to lay in water for at least 20 hours and then the pot has to simmer for 3 hours, creating a fantastic smell and builds expectations. I’m used to having Norwegian style Bacalao occasionally as it’s a family tradition to have this dish on celebrations and family parties. The combined rawness of dried, salted cod and the the sweet tomato sauce is a fantastic combination. The dish is made with family secrets and of course mamas dish is always the best.
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