It’s not often a country’s most iconic ingredient is not native to the area; however, that is exactly the case with bacalhau, or dried and salted cod, one of the most popular ingredients in Portuguese cuisine. While the old adage goes, “There are 365 ways to prepare bacalhau in Portugal, one for every day of the year,” in actuality, there are said to be 1,001 recipes including bacalhau in the country.
Typically produced in Norway, Iceland and Newfoundland, bacalhau was first discovered 500 years ago. Due to a lack of refrigeration, the Portuguese people tried salting and preserving the many varieties of fish found off its Atlantic coast. Eventually, they discovered the ideal fish for this process off the coast of Newfoundland and began fishing its waters. Soon, it was pervasive in Portuguese cooking, an everyday staple in many households. It became especially popular in the predominantly Roman Catholic country because it could be enjoyed on the many days per year the Church forbade eating meat. Today, due to overfishing, among other reasons, bacalhau is more expensive. It is now served mostly on special occasions and, in some parts of the country, is the traditional Christmas dinner.
Before preparing any of Portugal’s popular bacalhau dishes, the soaking process is fundamental. In a large pot of cold, clean water, soak the fish for at least 24 hours, changing the water several times. The salted cod must then be boiled; to flavor, vinegar, carrots, celery, onions, parsley, peppercorns and such can be added before boiling for 15 minutes. Once skinned and de-boned, the bacalhau is ready to transform.
From here, bacalhau can be broiled, fried, stewed, grilled, roasted — you name it — and is traditionally served with potatoes. Among the most common, and tasty, transformations are bacalhau com todos, served boiled with vegetables, hard-boiled egg, olive oil and garlic; bacalhau à Brás, prepared fried rice-style with potatoes, onion, scrambled eggs and olives; and bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, similar to the à Brás preparation, but the fish is soaked first in milk, then roasted and served with hard-boiled egg. Also frequently seen are bolinhos de bacalhau, fried balls of bacalhau and potatoes. Oven-baked varieties include à ze do pipo, when milk-soaked cod is baked with onion, mashed potatoes and mayonnaise and garnished with olives; and bacalhau com natas, like a potato gratin with cream and béchamel.
Whichever way you prefer your bacalhau, there’s no denying the many ways this non-native ingredient has come to characterize Portuguese cuisine.
Love to laugh and travel? Join Just For Laughs in Cancún presented by Pollen Presents Nov. 3–7. This festival event brings together the relaxing accommodations of a 5-star resort and laugh-out-loud funny comedy sets for a long, unforgettable escape.
A handful of historic towns in Texas Hill Country reinvented themselves as upscale food, wine and culture destinations. Fredericksburg is the shining star among them, transcending its historic German underpinnings to the point where it’s drawing a more cosmopolitan group of visitors, including many from outside Texas.
In an exclusive partnership, Lufthansa Group teams with Viking Cruises to offer the cruise line’s travelers direct, non-stop flights from the New York City area to Malta (MLA), beginning June 30. Flights will operate three times weekly on Lufthansa’s Airbus A350-900, departing from Newark Liberty International Airport.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Indianapolis International Airport officially opened its first-ever art gallery, The KIND Gallery, named after the airport’s international airport code. It is initially featuring artists from Harrison Center for the Arts.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.