today for the first time in my ultimate long, never ending life I ate 'Stockfish' - Stockfish I only know from hearsaying - something like dried fish - very salty -
hmm - no-one in my surroundings ever ate, cooked or prepared stockfish & of course you just don't ask for things that don't happen in you small world.
Some years ago I was with my Greek friend Theodotti in a Portuguesian restaurant
- Portuguese restaurants are very rare here in Germany & it was the first time in my life that I entered one - well but I'm always curious for new tastes & culture of other countries. - & I'm definetely not one of those Germans who travel to all & a lot of places all over the world, to the most beautiful countries, the most interesting cultures, & all they want to find there is: people talking & behaving like their own kind of customs & language, they prefer the food they know from home & deeply avoid any other food (it's not what mother gave us)- listen only to tv- & radio-stations from Germany, meet & are together there only with other Germans - they should better stay home where they're granted to find these conveniences non-stop.
While my Greek friend & me studied the menu - including mainly fish dishes - I saw 'Stockfish' - on the menu card - Curiously, because I had no idea how it would taste - I ordered it -
But then the Portuguese restaurant owner dissuaded me from taking it - She said: "it tastes very 'special' - only Portugesians who are used to that taste would like it - usually Germans won't like the 'strange' taste of it. - So after her heavy warning I got unsure - This must be real a disgusting thing - so instead I ordered shrimps & octopusses or something like that.
This situation was about 10 years ago & till recently I never got confronted with stockfish anymore.
But things change in the culinarian world if you get closer related to a Portuguesian - since a half year I know a Portuguese woman Maria Antonietta & her friend Manuel. - Recently she took me to an exclusive Portuguese restaurant called 'Sintra' & one of her recommendations was also Stockfish (but of course I knew better by the warning of that Portuguesian restaurant owner. (Never eat stockfish in your life - you will rue it bitterly!)) - So I suggested for a fish plate for 2 persons - yes & it was delicious & much to much anyway.
But stockfish didn't cease to follow my tracks. - This early evening Marie Antoinette called me & invited me for a dinner at night - She was preparing 'Stockfish' - she tried to assure me that it wasn't that bad, like I imagined it to be. - I told her - I'll call back within a half hour - you know I needed respite.
45 minutes later I called her back - "ok - I'll come over then!" (why not solve one of the last remaining riddles in my life about the real taste of stockfish? - Well if it was really that awfull I could probably survive by eating only a small amount & eating mainly the 'added' food than the main desaster)
When I arrived there at about 7 pm - they were just preparing the meal in the kitchen - the told me that the salted & dried meat of the stockfish was watered for a long time before - I saw them cutting the white meat in very small peaces, that got fried in a pan in the end - I saw them preparing some kind of mini-pommes-frittes (cut with a special machine) - I saw them roasting some fine cut onion pieces & saw them doing a lot of other strange things - I can't even remember anymore - Maria showed me a bottle of fine Portuguesian olive oil which finally had to be added to the meal.
So finally while we seated round the table - had some Portwine aperitif before - Maria put from a big pot the stockfish dish on our plates - by looking it was a rough mix of ingredients were you hardly could find out, which was what & what was which (you know I write Germanic English) - it didn't look like a good tasting meal - it looked just like a heap of an indefinite mass on your plate - hmm so - because I was just there & had nothing better to do - why not just taste it -
well you already know it - it tasted delicious - it was haute cuisine - no evil stench - no real bad taste - no salty, dry, stall or sour taste - it was just one of those meals were you hardly stop devouring it, while you still can. - OK - she had loaded my plate with much too much - & they both ate a second plate, while I hardly achieved to finish mine. - But I never eat much at once (maybe a small stomach - which means if all people in the world would only eat as much as me, there would be left food enough for all the population of the world)
Stockfish is very expensive I heard Maria say - it's a delicatesse - so I really would like to go to that restaurant where I've been once with Dotti & order there Stockfish again - maybe the do it there in the worst kind you ever could prepare & eat stockfish - maybe they don't even water it before preparing it - maybe they prepare it there in the most perverted way a stockfish can ever be cooked? - I'd really liked to know how they serve it there - but unfortunately I have totally forgotten where this small restaurant was situated & probably it doesn't exist anymore. - Hmm - tomorrow I'll call Theodotti, whether she can remember & if so - I'll go there with Dotti & Maria Antoinette & we shall unmask the owner about the lies they serve there about stockfish - hmm or we shall get convinced, that they serve a really disgusting stockfish receipt there..
here from wikipedia (by the way in German wikipedia (wikipedia.de) the entry about stockfish is much longer & detailed (telling also about a lot of stockfish receipts - no wonder - stockfish countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy, Norwege etc. are all European (well Brazil is an exception) - so Europe is the stockfish expert):
Stockfish is unsalted fish dried naturally by sun and wind on wooden racks called hjell, or in special drying houses. The drying of food is the world's oldest known preservation method, and dried fish has a storage life of several years. The method is also cheap, the work can be done by the fisherman, and the resulting product is easily transported to its market.
Cod is the most common fish used in stockfish production, while other white meat fish, such as pollock, haddock, ling and cusk is used to a lesser degree. During the centuries several variants of stockfish evolved, including the salted clipfish. Salting was not economically feasible before the 17th century, when cheap salt from southern Europe became available. Both stockfish and clipfish can be processed to lutefisk.