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    BaccalĂ  alla vicentina: a 400-year-old recipe

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    Pau Monfort
    @paumonfort
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    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    An ancient and very interesting story, here is the original recipe of BaccalĂ  alla Vicentina with all the curiosities and what distinguishes it from the simple cod. Ingredients, preparation and tips in the post!

    Il Cod Vicentina it is an ancient recipe and its history is really interesting to discover. Between traditions and procedure, we will try to provide you with all the information you need to better enjoy this delicious and typical dish.



    Practical information

    Difficulty: medium

    Preparation: 30 minutes

    Cooking: 3 hours

    Doses: 4-6 people

    Presentation of the dish

    The history of Cod Vicentina it goes back to a time and a place distant in time and space. We are speaking precisely of the year 1431 and of RĂžst, one of the Lofoten islands where the Venetian merchant Pietro Querini found refuge following the sinking of his ship bound for Flanders. On this Norwegian island he was able to learn the customs and traditions of the people including their strange method of preserving cod, which involved hanging clean and salted fish outside the house and letting it dry in the wind for months. This product, called stockfiss, became stiff like wood, could be stacked and stored for months and be ready to use after being beaten. The merchant later returned to Italy with a considerable stock of this new food which was immediately successful given its high shelf life and low cost.



    Recipe Vicentina cod

    It is necessary to make a distinction, if we talk about cod in Veneto, Friuli Venezia-Giulia and Trentino we are referring precisely to the air-dried stockfish; in other regions of Italy, on the other hand, cod is nothing more than cod in salted fillets.

    Nowadays in supermarkets it is possible to find stockfish ready for use, but once it was necessary to beat it vigorously and let it soak in water for 3-4 days to defibrate it and free it from the conservation salt.

    Ingredients:

    600 g of soaked stockfish
    100 g flour
    250 g of onion
    2 sardines
    250 ml of milk
    250 ml of oil
    30 g of grated Parmesan cheese
    1 bunch of parsley
    sale
    pepper

    Preparation

    First you need to prepare all the ingredients. Cut the onion into slices and the stockfish into portions clean from the skin and bones. Finely chop the parsley.

    In a saucepan, brown the onion in the olive oil to which you will then add the sardines cut into small pieces. Once the flame is off, add the chopped parsley.

    Take the pieces of stockfish and dip them in the sauce before passing them one by one in the flour. Take a baking dish or a terracotta or aluminum pan, dirty the bottom with a few tablespoons of sautéed and arrange the pieces of fish side by side. Then cover with the remaining fried to which you will add the milk, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Finish by pouring all the oil to cover everything, leveling the mixture.


    Cook everything on a low heat for 3 hours, without ever mixing.


    Curiosity and advice

    In 1987 in Sandrigo (VI) the Confraternity of BaccalĂ  (The Confraternita del BacalĂ  alla Vicentina) in defense of this traditional Vicentine dish which has been recognized as one of the five foods of the Italian tradition of the EuroFIR circuit. The confraternity has set itself the objective of recovering and drafting the traditional recipe as well as being a reference point for local restaurateurs and acting as an ambassador with other Italian regions that boast traditions linked to stockfish.


    But what is the difference between the BaccalĂ  alla Vicentina and the other recipes? This recipe does not include the use of tomato, which is often used as an aid in covering a less than excellent flavor; for this reason the BaccalĂ  alla Vicentina requires only fish of the best quality. The Lofoten Islands are precisely one of the places in the world where the best stockfish is produced. Based on the type of fish and its quality, the stockfish is divided into 23 distinct categories.


    Where to eat BaccalĂ  alla Vicentina

    In Sandrigo is La Trattoria di Palmerino, one of the traditional places that has been serving this dish for three generations now. In Vicenza it is possible to taste it at Locanda Veneta, by Remo Villa Cariolato, to restaurants The Querini da Zemin, Giorgio & Chiara, Ristorante Storione and La Conchiglia d'Oro.

    If you pass by RĂžst, in the Lofoten islands where this story began, do not miss to pass by Il Querini Restaurant.

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