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The story of Bacalhau, the most popular Portuguese dish

The story of Bacalhau, the most popular Portuguese dish

No trip anywhere could ever be complete without a little bit of culinary exploration, so here we are thinking about a certain absolutely lovely Mediterranean country and the best way to enjoy it to the full. And here is the story of Bacalhau, the most popular Portuguese dish and the national one for that matter.

Bacalhau” is the Portuguese name for cod fish and also for the dish made out of this fish. Or rather, the dishes, because the Portuguese pride themselves on being able to make over 365 varieties of the dish (at least one for every day of the year). In fact, there appear to be over 1000 ways of cooking it. You can boil it, roast it, bake it, dry it, serve it with potatoes or rice, cream or oil and vegetables – the versatility of this dish is incredible.

You might not want to overdo it and eat bacalhau every single day of the year, but the dish definitely deserves attention and there are a few varieties that decidedly deserve to be tried out.

Here’s a fun fact about bacalhau: with its maritime history, you might think that the fish is caught off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean on the Portuguese shores. But it’s false, this is in fact a sea fish found in Norway, Iceland and other Northern European countries. It was brought to Portugal during the Age of Discoveries and quickly became popular because it was inexpensive and could be salted and preserved on the sea for a long time, but also used in religious events.

Oven baked cod fish served with potatoes is called Bacalhau à Lagareiro; it is perhaps the most simple and popular dish of the lot.

You can sample the recipe or another one virtually anywhere in Portugal. In the Algarve, with your Lagos car hire you can drive to most restaurants in the region to taste it. Bom proveito!