Codfish balls / Bolinhos de Bacalhau …we simply can’t get enough of this well-know delicious Porto traditional appetizer! There is only one way of cooking it: boiled, grilled, boiled and then grilled, fried with peppers, fried with tomatoes, cooked in stews, cooked with rice, or perhaps served simply raw with onions and olives, as an appetizer, as a main dish, there is no way for you to escape this delicious appetizer in Porto! You decide how you would like to have it as your meal.
“Cod is the common name for the demersal fish genus Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae. Cod is also used as part of the common name for a number of other fish species, and some species suggested to belong to genus Gadus are not called cod (the Alaska pollock).
The two most common species of cod are the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), which lives in the colder waters and deeper sea regions throughout the North Atlantic, and the Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus), found in both eastern and western regions of the northern Pacific. Gadus morhua was then named by Linnaeus in 1758. (However, G. morhua callarias, a low-salinity, nonmigratory race restricted to parts of the Baltic, was originally described as Gadus callarias by Linnaeus.)
Cod is very popular as a food with a mild flavour and a dense, flaky, white flesh. Besides, cod livers are actually processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Young Atlantic cod or haddock prepared in strips for cooking is called scrod. Besides, in the United Kingdom, Atlantic cod is one of the most common ingredients in fish and chips, along with haddock and plaice.
Bolinhos de bacalhau ([buˈlĩɲuʒ ðɨ βɐkɐˈʎaw], name in Northern Portugal and Brazil (literally “codfish cakes“, or “codfish balls”) or pastéis de bacalhau ([pɐʃˈtɛjʒ ðɨ βɐkɐˈʎaw], name in Central and Southern Portugal, particularly in the Lisbon area, and in PALOP (literally “codfish pastries“) are typically made from a mixture of potatoes, bacalhau (codfish), eggs, parsley, and onion. They are also commonly referred to as “salt cod fritters” or “salt cod croquettes” The bolinhos or pastéis de bacalhau are shaped using two spoons, deep fried and served hot or cold before meals as an appetizer or as a meal itself (usually served with rice, salad and olives). Ideally, they should be slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.
Codfish balls / Bolinhos de Bacalhau is, without a doubt, a fantastic fish meal that deserves its honorable place at any table in the world. So, when visiting Porto, just don´t forget this name: bolinhos de bacalhau, or codfish balls cakes.
Another tip: join your dear friends, bring some classic Port wine, and taste this delicious appetizer!