Easter warm-up: Check out some cod facts

There is no doubt that cod is one of the fish most appreciated by Brazilians, especially in times such as Lent and the end of this period at Easter. At Christmas, this is also a very consumed dish.

This gastronomic tradition inherited from the Portuguese includes families from all over Brazil, who can choose from several recipes prepared with this fish.

The custom of eating cod at this time (40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday) came from the Catholic tradition in which the Church forbade the consumption of meat as a sacrifice in relation to Christ's for humanity. Fish then replaced meat on Catholics' dishes during this period and became the main choice.

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It is believed that the choice of cod, instead of any other fish (which was released by the Church), was because it was a food that had a longer shelf life and could be transported for long trips or stored longer. .

But did you know that “cod” is not the name of one specific fish? It is, in fact, the denomination several species of fish classified into various genera, particularly in the Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae.

What is considered most legitimate among the species (from the Atlantic) is the so-called Gadus morhua (the Cod), which lives in the cold waters of the Northern Hemisphere (in the seas of Canada and Norway). In Brazil, the most consumed species are Cod (also called Porto and Imperial), Saithe, Ling and Zarbo.

More history

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Its salty version (the most consumed) has been in production for over 500 years, since the time of European New World discoveries. Prior to refrigeration, the fish had to be preserved to cope with long sailing days. For this purpose, drying and salting techniques were made, which eventually made the food even tastier.

The Portuguese found cod in the Arctic and Canadian seas and approved of its consumption, because with the methods to make it dry and salty, it became very durable as well as affordable and palatable. With this, the fish became part of the culture of that people.

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Nevertheless, there are some records that salt-free cod was already prepared by Vikings in the 9th century. However, its popularity grew all over Europe and, from the 18th century, the town of Kristiansund, Norway, has become an important place to buy cod. Norwegians also called it klippfisk ("cliff fish"), as it was dry on rock cliffs by the sea.

Portuguese tradition for sure

Anyone visiting Portugal knows how popular the dish is there. Its various recipes delight the tourists and are part of the daily life of the Portuguese, and can be found in restaurants in all cities, always with a lot of olive oil and usually potatoes. But it is not only in Portuguese territory that cod is widely consumed.

In Portugal, it is said, there are over 365 ways to cook cod, one for each day of the year. Fish is also quite common in the Galicia region of Spain, and in the Portuguese colonies of Cape Verde, Angola, Macau - and in Brazil, of course. To a lesser extent, it is found in the gastronomic traditions of other territories such as Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

More curiosities

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  • Cod was introduced in Brazil in the 19th century by the court of D. João VI;
  • The fish can live up to 20 years and can reach 1.80 meters;
  • Cod accounts for about 10% of the world's fish industry.
  • One serving of cod contains 13 grams of protein and 58 calories (of which only 4 come from fat);
  • Food is also a source of vitamin C, D, B6 and B12;
  • Check out what cod is called in other countries: bacalao (Spain), bacallà (Catalonia / Spain), μπακαλι? Ρος / bakaliáros (Greece), baccalà (Italy), bakalar (Croatia), kabeljauw (Netherlands), tørfisk / klippfisk / clipfish (Scandinavia), saltfiskur (Iceland).

* Originally Posted on 3/26/2014


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