Today I’m going to take you with me to taste the best codfish I’ve ever had in my life! I’m not exaggerating. The journey will take us around one hour from Porto to Poiares (Ponte de Lima) but I can guarantee it’s worth it.
If you don’t know, the Portuguese are one of the biggest consumers of cod (if not the biggest) in the world. Our relationship with cod really goes back in time since the Portuguese Discoveries in the 16th century. As you can see this is a very mature relationship that has lasted for centuries. Cod is also part of Portuguese traditions like Christmas. A lot of families have Cod for dinner on Christmas Eve and even though I’m now living in Northern Ireland I still keep the tradition for Christmas. In Northern Ireland they don’t have the salted dried cod but fortunately I have family who sends it to us so we can prepare a lovely dish for our Christmas Eve.
There are 1000 ways of cooking cod and I’ve tried several ones and several places but I have to share with you this fantastic place I came across this year called A Taverna do Afonso located in Poiares, very close to Ponte de Lima. You need to make a reservation as the place is not too big. Inside the restaurant you have a wood burning stove already prepared to cook the cod. One of the staff members is preparing the cod in a tray with olive oil and he just places the cod in the wood burning stove once you arrive there. You are also welcome to join him and observe what he is doing.
The cod is then cooked in the wood burning stove until it reaches the perfect colour. Oh my God, can you smell it? I can feel my mouth watering.
The cod is served with boiled potatoes with skin. Lets start. Can I have mine served with a lot of the tasty Portuguese olive oil and broa (a type of corn and rye bread, typically Portuguese)? I hope you really enjoy it. Bom Apetite (Enjoy)!