Salt cod has been very difficult for me to find, but for years I’ve been on a mission for find it because I have great memories of the ways my mother used to cook with it. We lived in Seattle for three years when I was growing up, and I’m guessing because of the abundance of cod in Puget Sound, that salt cod was more prevalent there as well.
As a child I remember loving the little wooden box that it came in – the top slid in and out and it was just so cute. Unfortunately, I could never quite get rid of the nasty fishy smell, so the cute box never remained in my possession for long…
For any of you not familiar with salt cod, it’s simply filets of cod that have been preserved in salt – a preservation technique from the old days. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever find it, but then miraculously found salt cod at a Whole Foods store! It still exists! And it was in the little wooden box that I remember! I hurriedly grabbed a couple like it was a popular children’s toy at Christmas, and excitedly brought the salt cod home to start planning recipes.
When you first open up the box and unwrap the cod, you won’t be very impressed with it at all.
What you have to do is soak it in cold water for at least two days, replenishing the water a couple of times a day. Otherwise, the cod will be too salty, and not in a good salty way.
After the two days are up, it’s time for one final rinse, then dry on paper towels, and choose a recipe. Recipes are easy to find, especially if you look into Portuguese recipes, in which case it’s called bacalao, or Italian recipes, which is baccalà. But I’ll post a few salt cod recipes, as well! Watch for future posts!