Aveiro and Ílhavo, Portugal
They say that the cod is Portuguese and vice versa.
No other non-indigenous food has the same economic, religious, social, political and cultural importance in Portugal.
Cod is a name for streets and gardens, for clothing (the coat with cod tails), it is the handshake (give a cod here) and its water refers to unfinished business (it has been in cod waters). More than 1000 recipes illustrate this metamorphosis from a fish of the poor to a food of the rich, and its centrality in Portuguese identity.
This exchange begins with Vikings and their exchanges for salt and is consolidated with religious rituals imposed on those who “built cathedrals and lived in rubbish dumps,” soldiers of colonial fishing and a growing anonymous mass that fed on bread, vegetables and bacon, but, however, celebrating it in their “pot and cooker altars” with recipes based on heads, tongues, bladders and livers. Its noble parts almost always were a privilege of the rich, who never knew the head of the cod.
An immersion in the popular and traditional culture of the Portuguese people, a tour through the history about the economic, religious, social, political and cultural importance that this non-native fish has in the identity of the country, which makes many people think that the cod is from Portugal and vice versa.
This itinerary includes emblematic places and moments in the memory of cod fishing and the expressions it still holds today, particularly, in the territory of Ílhavo and Aveiro, where this activity has been marking the lives of several generations of families.
During lunch you will have the opportunity to hear stories of cod fishing by the lively voice of one of the protagonists of this itinerary: an old sailor, representing the needs of those who, not having access to the noble parts of the fish, made their heads, tongues and bladders, delicious delicacies that today are part of the national popular cuisine!
Discover another perspective on the culture and food of the Portuguese people!