Why is Cod fish salted ?
Did you ever wonder why is cod fish salted
Humans have been eating codfish since 800 AD. Historically the northern countries were fishing it and bringing it to sell it in Europe. We can actually track the method of salting codfish back to the 15th century!
These days the two main kinds of cod fish are Atlantic cod and Pacific cod, referring to the ocean in which they are fished.
Let’s find out why cod fish is usually salted.
History of salted cod fish
Cod fish was salted to preserve the fish and make sure that the fisherman could have the food they needed for many months at sea. Salt has strong antibacterials properties which allows the fish to be stored for long periods of time, even at warm temperatures.
Obviously since the 15th century food preservation techniques have improved so that adding salt to the cod will keep it for a very long time. On top of that we have now refrigerators and freezers that make it possible to store the cod for even longer while maintaining its quality.
How does the technique for salting codfish work?
Salt cod is made using a few simple techniques: dry salting, brining, or pickling.
The goal of all three is to make the salt infiltrate the fish, releasing its properties into the meat of the fish.
Once salted, the cod cures for almost a month, like cheese or wine. The salt gives the fish it’s great taste and allows it to be stored for a long time.
After that, the codfish are prepared to be sold by being sorted, cut, and organized depending on the size the piece (portions, loins, cheeks). Then it can be frozen to keep it even longer, or directly sold at the fish market.
What is “lightly salted” cod?
The “lightly salted” method for preparing cod is a modern approach that saves a lot of preparation time and maintains the exact same flavor as regular salted codfish. Instead of surrounding the fish with salt and let it cure for month, the fishermen soak the cod in salted water right after catching it and for an additional 2-3 days
This method allows the salt to infiltrate the cod faster and for a more precise amount of salt to be used. The lightly salted cod keeps the exact same flavor as the traditionally salted codfish and, on top of that, is processed in less time.
If you would like to try lightly salted codfish, you can look at this page for our selection.
What if you buy fresh cod?
Fresh cod turns bad very quickly. You have to cook it within24 hours of taking it out of the water. Considering the time it takes to bring the cod to the port, prepare it for selling, and deliver it to the fish market, you don’t have much time left to eat it.
That is why you will mostly find salted cod fish in the US, because fresh codfish is usually only available in the fish markets close to port. In terms of flavor, the taste difference between salt cod and fresh cod is slight. The salted cod will have more flavor.
There is a reason why salt cod is called “the prosciutto of the sea”!
Pacific Cod versus Atlantic Cod
There are two different kinds of cod: Pacific cod and Atlantic cod. The area where they are fish has an impact on the taste of the fish.
Pacific cod is fished around Alaska and has a milder taste and more savoury flavor profile with firmer, chunkier flakes. Atlantic cod is fished in the northern Atlantic close to Iceland and the Scandinavian countries. It has a sweet taste with large flakes that fall apart when cooked.
There is no “best” one it will depend on your own taste.
If you would like to learn more about the difference between them, feel free to look at this article.
6 health benefits of salted cod fish
Cod offers the following nutritional and health benefits:
1 – Lowers blood pressure
2 – Sharpens memory
3 – Encourages healthier skin
4 – Lubricates joints
5 – Source of essential fatty acids
6 – Source of vitamins and minerals
If you would like to know more about the health benefits of salted cod fish, take a look at this article.