Clipfish and the Norwegian bacalhau

Woman and food to accompany the Olaf Wine.

Clipfish is salted and dried fish, mainly of cod. The drying took originally place on flat or sloping rocks by the Sea. This was carried out by children, women and men. The fish were laid out over the rocks during the day and gathered and stacked in “towers when there was a risk of rain or dew. A protective “hat” was added at the top.  

Clipfish is a younger conservation method than stockfish, because this method requires access to large amounts of salt. It was not until you could import cheap salt in the 18th century that this production shot off speed. Admittedly, it was possible to extract salt from seawater, but this was an energy and laborious process.

Clipfish is the main ingredients in bacalao (bacalhau) and there are countless bacalao dishes. In Portugal, for example, it is said that a woman must be able to prepare 365 different dishes of cod before she can get married. Norwegian women have no such rules, but we eat bacalao. The Norwegian bacalao consists of salted Cod, onions, tomatoes, olive oil and potatoes. It is served with Olaf red wine.  

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