Bacalhau, or salted codfish !

I love fresh codfish, but when it has been made into salted one I don´t like it anymore.

In Portugal everyone loves the Bacalhau.  It is expensive, and in this photo you can see the one imported from Iceland. I sneaked to take a photo in the supermarket, which is of course forbidden. You can not take photos there!


When I was a child, codfish was on the table every Saturday. I hated it. It was ugly and there were worms in it. Yuck ! We had potatoes and melted fat to go with it. What a disgusting food. The mouth got sticky and horrible. The taste was there all day long.

When I look at the horrible Bacalhau I can feel the horror. My childhood horror.

Everyone wants me to like the fish. I can´t.

My Portuguese friends, this has nothing to do with you. I love you, I just don´t love the ugly salted codfish, the Bacalhau. The fresh one is wonderful but it´s hard to get one here in the country.

One day I was in the supermarket and there, from the fishmonger’s table, a fresh beautiful codfish smiled at me. Really? Yes, it was there. The price was high, seriously high. They had 2 and I wanted them both.

Do you really want them both? my friend asked.

Yessssssss! I do.

She looked at me and got someone who spoke English, just to make sure she had understood my Portuguese correctly. This was for her somehow too much to swallow. The other lady convinced my friend it was ok to cut the fish and I was not going to back on my word. They don´t cut it, they saw it. I would have preferred to have it in fillets but did not want to confuse them any more.

On my way out, after paying, I saw a friend from the gymnasium, and showed him my wonderful bag, a big bag, full of fresh codfish. Smiling and happy I told him now my life was perfect. He looked at me. He looked at the big bag. He looked at the price. How are you going to cook this? he asked.

How? Just in water, I replied.

My friend looked again at my fish with wonder in his eyes. Perhaps he now realised that the Icelandic woman was nuts!

I went home and had fresh codfish in the freezer for weeks. It felt somehow like a victory! The pressure from my Portuguese lovely people to help me to like codfish is still there. They try and I resist.

Sometimes I can even get dried codfish heads in the market. Oh, that is a story for another day, the dry heads I got here in my new homeland! Even though your imagination is vivid you can´t guess what that is about. I will tell you later.

Hulda Björnsdóttir


Author: ebemiede2

I do blog about different matters that interest me.

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