Baccala fish a tasty and delicious Italian tradition!
Baccala Fish is a traditional Italian salted cod fish. A baccala is similar to the Portuguese Bacalhau and the Spanish bacalao. It is a butterfly split gadus morhua well salted and dried, very white looking, sold in small sizes 16/20 or smaller. The ideal size for baccala is 21/30.
Baccala is consumed mostly in southern Italy in the Naples area, where it is a very traditional food, especially during Easter and Christmas.
From fresh codfish we can produce the best baccala. It arrives at the factory directly off the fishing boats. It is then quickly split mechanically into a open butterfly cut. In the old days, this was cut manually with sharp knives. Today we may still find in some regions of Iceland and Norway, especially the very big fish, manual splitting by professional fish cutters. But in general all small and commercial size fish is split mechanically, which is quick and perfect.
After splitting the baccala fish, it is cleaned thoroughly to make sure no blood stains persists on the white meat. After cleaning the fish is then salted. The salting methods may vary, there are several types of salting methods, some more efficient than others.
Flavour and taste is made with time and care!
Of course the flavor will be different according to the type of cure done on the fish. In our case, the clean fish is initially put into a large bin with salt layers, making it a natural dry brine. This stage is most important to guarantee the final quality of the baccala fish. The dry brine stage lasts more than 10 days and less than 30. During this period the water and moisture existing in the fish meat fibers is extracted by the salt, as the salt penetrates the fibers. Each producer has it’s own technique and this stage may vary, but it is the most important stage in fish salting.
After the brine stage where osmosis takes place, the baccala fish is then placed on pallet. Here it may remain for a few weeks or a few months. In this phase the baccala fish will obtain the required cure. However, the longer it stays in contact with salt and moisture the more the surface oxidizes. In Italy, as in most countries, people like their baccala fish nice and white.
Next comes the drying phase, in the old days, in Northern Norway, the baccala fish was dried on big rocks. Today drying is done in industrial wind tunnels where temperature and moisture are controlled rigorously.
When well dried, the baccala is ready to be packed and shipped to your nearest baccala retail store. You can check out our baccala fish range following the link or just check through our website, we are sure you will find what you may be looking for.