Bacalao is salted cod. The salted fish is wellknown in the north of Europe, and the tradition is most likely adopted from there. Salting is a way to preserve fresh fish and meat and it was very convenient before we had the refrigerator. It made it possible to serve fish to the farmer fare from ocean and meat to the sailor fare from land.
The fishermen salt the fresh fish while they are on the boat, and after they sell it on the market. When you want to make bacalao, you put the salted fish in water to rinse out the salt – and then it’s ready to cook.
In Galicia you’ll find wonderful empanadas stuffed with fish, pulpo or meat. The empanadas are very often made in a large (spanish) family size. But you can also choose to bake small ones, which are easier to bring a long to the beach. When an empanada has a baby size it’s called a empanadilla.
If you can’t find bacalao at your local fish store, we are sure you can choose any other white fish if it’s fixed in the flesh.