[Sca-cooks] salt cod

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sat Jun 20 21:28:29 PDT 2009

Adamantius answered Katharina with:

On Jun 20, 2009, at 4:55 AM, Susanne Mayer wrote:
is saltcod the same as Stockfish (HARD dried Fish) or Klippfisch
(Hard salted dried fish). fish generic as I do not know what fish is
usually salted in what part of the known Lands (it could be cod,
ling, haddock or pollack)

The primary difference would be in whether the fish is salted, or
simply dried. Stockfish is dried without added salt, traditionally
hung up on stakes or a framework of tree branches on a windy beach,
while salt cod is definitely pretty heavily salted.


Unfortunately, until this was brought out on this list, I thought all  
preserved fish was "stockfish".

So until I can get around to reorganizing it, this file in the  
Florilegium contains information on stockfish (dried fish), salted  
fish, lutefisk, pickled fish, lefse and other preserved fish. There  
are a number of recipes in there on preparing preserved fish, but none  
that I could find on actually turning fresh cod into salted cod.
stockfish-msg    (118K)  4/18/09  Period preserved fish.

While the term "kippered" goes back to 12th century or so, what we  
think of as "kippered" fish or "kippers" apparently dates to just the  
19th century and refers to a lightly smoked fish, one where the  
smoking is mostly for flavor. This fish required the speed of the  
railroads to transport it to market before it spoiled since there  
wasn't enough smoking to add much preservation qualities.

I am currently in the middle of reading this book. It has quite a lot  
of info about fishing in the Middle Ages including the creation of the  
salted herring and the stockfish trade.

Fish on Friday: Feasting, Fasting, and Discovery of the New World
Fagan, Brian
ISBN: 0-465-02284-7
Basic Books, New York
 From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. It was fish, not spices, that led to the discovery of  
North America," speculates anthropologist Fagan. From 1495 to 1525, he  
tells us, the monks at Westminster Abbey consumed almost 11,000  
kilograms of fish per year. The sheer enormity of this piscine cuisine  
offers a snapshot of the exalted place fish held in the life of  
religious communities. Fagan (The Little Ice Age) regales readers with  
a fast-paced, edge-of the-seat tale of Christianity's role in the  
development of fishing and fisheries as commercial ventures. By the  
fourth century, fish had become the center of Christian fast days and  
holy feasts. Early forms of aquaculture were developed to meet the  
demand, but eventually, as Fagan points out, Europe's rapidly growing  
Catholic population and its demand for fish on Fridays and fast days  
led, as early as the Middle Ages, to a North Atlantic fishing industry  
providing herring and cod and developing salting and smoking to  
preserve the fish for the transatlantic trip. But the onset of the  
Little Ice Age forced fishermen further south, and eventually they  
followed cod down to their winter waters off the coast of Maine.  
Fagan's rich prose creates a lively social history that will captivate  
readers of Mark Kurlansky and Jared Diamond. B&w illus.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier  
Inc. All rights reserved.

 From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–This is a thought-provoking, well-researched  
explanation for early European exploration. According to Fagan, the  
knowledge and technological innovations that made ocean voyages  
possible were gained over hundreds of years by ordinary people in  
pursuit of fish. The appetite for the food was enormous in Europe  
during the Middle Ages. Rare fish graced the tables of nobles as a  
delicacy. Stockfish replaced meat during holy days and supplemented  
the meager diet of peasants. Preserved fish fed soldiers when they  
were far from home. Political situations, monopolies, and climate  
changes forced fishermen farther from shore. Better designs for boats  
followed, as well as new methods of drying and salting the catch. The  
longer shelf life for fish allowed for even greater distances to be  
covered. The author's lively style and use of fascinating details make  
this an entertaining book that would also be useful for students doing  
research on specific aspects of medieval life. An analysis of the  
various claims of who reached the New World first is particularly  
interesting. Fish recipes, from classical Rome to 17th-century New  
England, are sprinkled throughout the narrative. A reverse  
chronological time line is provided, as well as 12 maps and 27 black- 
and-white illustrations that include reproductions of contemporary  
paintings of towns and shores and woodcuts showing smokehouses,  
waterwheels, and other inventions. Drawings of fishing boats, fish,  
and fishing tools are also featured.–Kathy Tewell, Chantilly  
Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier  
Inc. All rights reserved.

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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