[Sca-cooks] Basques and the salting of cod

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius.magister at verizon.net
Thu Oct 12 03:16:51 PDT 2006

On Oct 12, 2006, at 2:02 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Adamantius commented:
> <<< What do we actually know about fish being smoked? For example,  
> I was
> pretty shocked to see Mark Kurlansky state in his book about cod,
> that Basque fishermen essentially discovered the technique of salting
> fish while still on board ship, thus greatly extending their travel
> range -- this is another of those things that makes great common
> sense, and one which you'd assume had been known since pre-history,
> but Kurlansky says, as I recall, that this was first implemented in
> something like the thirteenth century. >>>
> Hmmm. Maybe I need to go re-read that section of his book, but what I
> remember him saying was that the Basque *couldn't* preserve their cod
> catch onboard their ships, which is part of the proof he gives for
> the Basque discovering North America before Columbus. They needed to
> land to prep the fish before the voyage home. Since both this and the
> source of the cod were considered commercial secrets, they weren't
> going to advertise their finding of the new lands to the rest of  
> Europe.

I'm sorry; I thought I had made it clear he was talking about salting  
herring on board ship, but apparently not. I was also working from  
memory, and while I often forget something I've read, I rarely  
remember things I haven't ;-). I'll have to go back and check...


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