Bacalao - a Codfish Speciality

Bacalao is a codfish speciality, where a lot of salt is used in its processing.

Bacalao is a Codfish Speciality where a lot of salt is used in its processing

The business with salted fish and Bacalao - in English stockfish or dried cod - is several hundred years old, and in Europe it is mainly operated by the Norwegians these days. Main customers are Spain and Portugal, that's where the name Bacalao or Bacalhau comes from.

And this is how Bacalao is made: One layers codfish fillets in a large tub and adds coarse salt, usually sea salt, between the layers so that they do not stick together. Then the whole thing is watered to avoid quick drying of the fillets. The fish remains in this brine for two to four days, before it is drained and the fish dried for four to five days.

In the next step, the fillet pieces are sorted according to size and then stacked, salt again being added between the layers. All the fish processors have their own recipes - some use exclusively sea salt, others only rock salt and others a mixture of both.

One can now sell the fish as salted fish, but it is not allowed to be called Bacalao yet. Only when it has been dried again in a wind tunnel for four to five days and the water content of its total weight drops far below fifty percent, may it be called that and traded as such.