The cod route (in Portugal)
What can not stop eating when going to Portugal? Cod, of course. The historical, economic and cultural importance of this fish in the country is shown in several museums and in the chorrocientas -one for each day of the year, it is said, but we believe that this approach falls short- ways to prepare it. With oil, onion and potatoes as an almost perpetual accompaniment, you will get erased magic from which it makes you lick. The most popular recipes are cooked throughout the country and some vary in name or details, but there are some local specialties that cannot be missed to form an accurate culinary map of our beloved neighbor.
In the north, cod is even more typical than in the rest of the country, forming next to the simple as perfect green soup the center of the local traditional recipe book. The shipyards that built the Viana do Castelo cod fleet remain a sample of the logistic and economic breeding ground that led to the birth of some of the most emblematic elaborations of the dish. "A la Gil Eanes" is one of them, a name with a solera because Gil Eanes was one of the great navigators of the fifteenth century that gave way to the time of discovery; In the twentieth century, he named a ship-hospital supporting the fishing fleet - today that same boat is an unusual youth hostel of the Hi Hostel network - and finally He ends up baptizing a blunt recipe for cod with chickpeas.
Softer are the classic bacalhau à margarida da praça (grilled with cooked potatoes) or the Viana's bacalhau à moda (delicately wrapped in cabbage leaves). Typical of the Christmas days in which food is always left over - and in Portugal the classic Christmas Eve dinner is yes, you guessed it, cod - it is the roupa velha de bacalhau, wearing, like good old clothes, A little of everything left over in the previous feasts chopped and mixed.
In Braga we have the bacalhau à Narcisa, consisting of fried cod pieces accompanied by bay leaf and cloves, always accompanied by a piece of broa, cornbread from which all sorrows are removed.
Cod with potatoes © Corbis
TRAS-OS-MONTES AND DOURO
Serrano ham with cod is a surprisingly delicious combination and in this life you don't have to be afraid of salt. It has different varieties depending on the area, although the bacalhau à Transmontana (which also has some port wine) is one of the most famous. Within Tras-os-Montes, in the Barroso area, the recipe for bacalhau assado com pão de centeio, a plate of baked cod with crumbled rye bread, and the bacalhau podrefried and covered in egg, which however is especially recommended to try in the historic restaurant O Cortiço, in Viseu, one of those culinary institutions that must be known yes or yes. The recipes of crumbs with cod are also classic of this inner zone.
Bolinhos de Bacalhau © Corbis
In Viseu, Coimbra and the Beiras region, the classic preparation is "à Lagareiro" or with "sweet potatoes", one of the most popular also in the rest of the country. It consists of cooking Baked cod with potatoes, Like the lagareiros, the men in charge of the olive tread to make oil. In the small town of Anadia, in Aveiro, there is another famous cod recipe with ham, the bacalhau com presume à Bairrada; and in Arganil, Coimbra, it is made the bacalhau ball, a pie made with corn which was prepared while the bread was cooked, with the same dough.
Facade of a Lisbon store © Corbis
The cod is shined in this city -which belongs to the Minho region- with three recipes with its own name. The famous bacalhau à Zé do Pipo (gratin with mayonnaise) It was created by the owner of a food house of the same name for a gastronomic contest. From there it has gone to posterity and today is one of the most famous and popular ways to consume this fish. It is believed that the bacalhau à Gomes Sá, cooked with milk and accompanied with cooked eggsIt was a dish by José Luiz Gomes de Sá for the restaurant O Lisbonense. The bacalhau à João do Buraco, meanwhile, It is a delicious preparation with clams and shrimp. The traditions about who creates each dish can be more or less reliable and vary depending on who counts it, but the recipes are already fully accepted in Portuguese cuisine, as evidenced by each chef having his own.
Soup with cod © Thinkstock
One of the most adored preparations in the country and beyond is the bacalhau à brás, crumbled, with fried straw potatoes and egg, who was born in the Bairro Alto of Lisbon by the hand of a barman. Today it is one of the most classic versions of the dish that is not lacking in virtually any traditional Portuguese restaurant.
In the near Sintra, with more aristocratic origins, the bacalhau Spiritual typical of Lent, with carrots and bechamel, baked gratin. Apparently he was born in the restaurant Cozinha Velha installed in the palace of Queluz in the late forties, when the countess in charge of it was inspired by a French dish to offer something more elaborate in its luxury restaurant and traditional cuisine. The restaurant still exists with the same name and today belongs to the Pousadas de Portugal network, that twin mantra to national Paradores that always guarantees delicacies in a privileged environment.
You can't leave the tasty bacalhau pataniscas; Although they are prepared throughout the country, they are native to this region, the Portuguese Estremadura. These delicious fried foods they compete with bacalhau fritters and cakes in popularity but we prefer them for having fewer twins in traditional recipes in other countries. Cod fritters can be taken in many places, but pataniscos ...
Cod hung in a house in Ericeira © Corbis
The soup and the açordas they are the star dish of the region; the açorda It is a garlic soup with hard bread that admits almost any accompaniment and it can happen like other traditional foods like polenta in Italy - from a humble dish basically consumed by poor families to elaboration suitable for more sophisticated palates. In addition to meat and other fish such as the dogfish, Bacalhau açorda accompanied with eggs is also very popular.
At hypermarinero south of the country could not miss a bacalhau à algarvia, fried in pieces and accompanied by onions and potatoes. To kill the bug between travel and travel to our favorite neighbor, you can dust off the knowledge of Portuguese on this website with a million recipes codfish.
Cod in a restaurant in Lisbon © Corbis