I was so excited to see a small wooden box of salt cod fillets at a supermarket a few weeks ago. I had no idea what to do with it but knew I’d find recipes in 18th-century cookbooks, since cod was ubiquitous in colonial times.
Enormous cod populations were what first drew Europeans to America, according to Mark Kurlansky, author of Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World. As Francis Higginson, the first minister of Salem, Massachusetts, wrote in 1630:
The aboundance of Sea-Fish are almost beyond beleeving, and sure I whould scarce have beleeved it except I had seene it with mine owns eyes. Continue reading