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Tradition requires cod as part of a traditional meal each year

25 March 2010 / 15:03:37  GRReporter
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Cod fish and mashed potatoes with garlic are traditional meals which are present on every Greek table on March 25th each year – the Greek national holiday Evangelizmou. According to the canons of the church the believers have the right to eat twice the traditional fish during the Easter fasting. The tradition requires that the first time to eat the fist is on the first Sunday of the fasting, and the second time is during the national holiday related to the liberation from Turkish slavery in 1821.

Regardless of the fact that the cod fish could not be captured in the waters of the Mediterranean it becomes popular in the south European countries after the fifteenth century when the English ships start trading cod fish for raisins in Greece, Spain and Portugal. According to specialists this is the reason why the regions with bigger commercial ports in the country like Korinthos and Peloponis to have the greatest variety of recipes for the preparation of this type of fish. Very rich of valuable nutrients, salted or smoked the cod fish preserves its taste for a long period of time which gives an opportunity for the healthy fish to enter in the interior of the country, and not to remain only around the sea regions.

“I purchase only Icelandic cod fish because it is of the highest quality and its meat is white and tasty,” says for Vima newspaper the fish lover Giannis Vasilopoulos. He explains how to chose the best fish: “The filet of the fish has to be think, not thin. The surface has to be white and smooth without injuries. The dark yellowish shade means that the fish is old or the method of conservation was not effective. The grey parallel lines on the skin show that we are talking about cod fish and not some other fish from the same family.”

For the preparation of the fish before cooking, the cooks advise to buy the cod fish two days earlier. The salt is washed away, the head is removed, the tale and the fins are cut in fillets and then it is soaked in water. If we want to get rid of the salty taste of the cod fish the water has to be changed at least four-five times for a day. To have a more tender meat the last water has to be lukewarm. Whether it is fried or grilled the cod fish preserves the good quality of its taste and is always welcomed on the Greek table. The classic mixture for fried cod fish includes half of a tea cup of regular flour, two soup spoons olive oil, two soup spoons of rakia or 50 grams of beer, a tea spoon of sugar and a little salt. All of this is mixed in some lukewarm water in order to preserve the consistence of the mixture. It is important that the water in the mixture is not warm to protect the fish from taking too much oil. After this we dip the cod fish fillets in the mixture and we fry them at an average heat. It is served with classical mashed potatoes with a lot of garlic, parsley and fresh spring salad.

Tags: Greece mealMediterranean diet cod
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