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RECIPE:

Bacalao

Doesn't sound Norwegian, you say? You're right!

Bacalao .
Photo: Matprat
Bacalao .
Photo: Matprat.no

When traders started exporting clipfish (dried and salted cod) from Norway to southern European countries in the middle of the 17th century, they received spices and vibrant culture in return.

Including the dish called bacalao (derived from the Spanish and Portuguese terms for 'cod')!

Clip fish export industry in Norway .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv
Clip fish export industry in Norway .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv

Today, bacalao is traditionally served at celebrations, and is a dish that remains strongly associated with certain coastal areas, especially the Møre region in the Northwest.

Traditional Norwegian Bacalao .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv
Bacalao at XL Diner in Ålesund .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv

There are many recipes for bacalao. Recipes that contain tomatoes are the most popular in Norway.

It's definitely worth a taste!

Different Bacalao recipes .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv
Bacalao dishes at XL Diner Ålesund .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv

The clipfish industry has played an important role in the growth of Ålesund and the clipfish city Kristiansund on the Møre coast.

Both cities take great pride in their popular export and its history.

Ålesund and Kristiansund bacalao history .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv
Clip fish industry in Ålesund and Kristiansund .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv

In Kristiansund, you can visit The Norwegian Clipfish Museum. You can also join Klippfiskfestivalen, the annual clipfish festival, which is usually held in June. 

Clip fish in Kristiansund .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv
Clip fish in Kristiansund .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv

Ålesund is home to Europe's largest clipfish restaurant, serving over 20 tons of delicious clipfish a year!

Here, you can also sample different versions of bacalao, including the traditional tomato version. 

XL Diner in Ålesund .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv
XL Diner in Ålesund .
Photo: Møre og Romsdal Reiseliv

Fun fact!

Bacalao is also often made from stockfish, common in Northern Norway.

Every year between February and April, hundreds of fishing vessels gather around the Lofoten and Vesterålen region, when migrating Atlantic cod, called skrei, come to spawn. 

While clipfish was traditionally salted and then dried on flat rocks by the sea (today, this is done indoors), in Northern Norway, skrei is dried on massive racks outdoors.

In Northern Norway, the salty wind, strong winds, and cool climate provide the perfect conditions for preserving skrei.

Clip fish industry in Norway .
Photo: Maverix AS
Stockfish in Norway .
Photo: Maverix AS

Gourmet seafood

Millions of people all over the world regularly enjoy seafood from Norway.

Seafood recipes

Make bacalao, salmon in lefse, and other tasty seafood dishes from Norway.

A taste of Norway

Get more inspiration on where to visit and what to eat.

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