Baccalà alla Livornese is a classic recipe in Tuscan cuisine and has its origins in the port city of Livorno. “Baccala” means salted cod in Italian, and as you can probably guess, the main feature of this delicious dish is the salted cod.
There is a frequent confusion between stockfish and salted cod. Therefore, in order to better understand how this Tuscan dish was born, it is necessary to clarify the difference between the two.
The difference lies in the preservation method used to extend the storage life of the fish. The stockish is not salted but rather left to dry until it is sufficiently preserved. Salted cod, on the other hand, is a preservation method where the fish, typically cod, is kept in salted barrels for several weeks.
Due to the absence of modern technology such as refrigeration, salted cod was the primary method for preserving and transporting fish, especially cod. Thanks to the merchants of Northern Europe, salted cod was introduced to the port city of Livorno and consequently became quite popular in all of Tuscany.
The recipe for Baccala alla Livornese was soon created and became famous due to the convenience of the preservation method. The cacciucco is another exquisite and famous fish dish from Livorno that was born from the convenience of salted cod.
Recipe image from Un Pezzo della Mia Maremma
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