Cod is the protagonist in Tossa de Mar from March 1st to April 10th with “La Cocina del Bacalao” (The Cod Cuisine).
The tradition of cod cuisine during Lent is common in many cultures and countries, where the consumption of meat is prohibited on certain days as part of religious observance. Cod is a fish that preserves very well and can be stored for long periods of time, making it ideal for consumption during these days.
We are in the season of cod cuisine, the 7 weeks of Lent are popularly represented by the image of a woman with long skirts and seven legs. This figure was traditionally hung in homes, as a calendar, and each week one leg was taken out or hidden.
Traditional cod cuisine is very varied and rich in flavors and textures. Cod is a very versatile fish and can be cooked in many different ways, which has allowed it to adapt to the different seasons of the year and to the tastes of each region.
In the summer, cod is usually prepared with chanfaina, a stew made with pork liver, onion, pepper, and tomato that provides an intense and spicy flavor to the dish. In the fall, cod is usually accompanied by olives, and in winter, it is prepared a la llauna, that is, baked in the oven with potatoes and onion, which gives it a more hearty flavor.
During Lent, lighter and healthier dishes are prepared, such as cod with spinach and chickpeas, a recipe rich in nutrients and mild flavors. It is also common to prepare rice with cod, which was traditionally done on Thursdays, the day when this fish was traditionally eaten. And, of course, we cannot forget the typical dish of the town, the “Cim i Tomba” of cod.
Cod has gone from being a humble and common food to becoming a highly valued and scarce product, due to its great flavor and texture. Its popularity has transcended the borders of Spain and Portugal, where it is a key ingredient in their gastronomy, and today it is consumed all over the world.
You may wonder why cod is the predominant dish during Lent and not another fish. Well, in the past, when people lived far from the sea, it was very difficult to keep fish fresh and in the best conditions for consumption. This is why cod, which comes from the North Sea and is preserved salted or in brine, has traditionally been one of the safest fish to eat. This is what has made it a very rooted food in Tossense cuisine, and thanks to Lent, it has also become very flexible. Thus, the Catalan recipe book includes many recipes in which cod is the main dish, and almost always links them to Lent.
We invite you not to miss the traditional gastronomic campaign during this Lent:
The restaurants affiliated with the Traditional Tossenca Cuisine Association that participate in this year’s gastronomic campaign are: Bahia, Can Carlus, Can Pini, Castillo Viejo, El Pequeño, El Sol, La Ajustada, Marina, Maestro de Aixa, Minerva, Sa Barca, Sa Muralla, Victoria. More information is available on the monthly agenda of the Tossa Tourist Office.