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Apr 10, 2011 01:47 PM

Bacalao... bacalhau... salt cod.... HELP!!!

Hey there fellow chowhounds...

I am in desperate need of some help. After spending a few weeks in Rio de Janeiro and having tasted the most delicious "Bolinhos de Bacalhau" or "salt cod fritters" I have been trying to find good, quality salt-cod here in the Chicago area.

Salt cod/Bacalhau/Bacalao is extremely popular in Brasil, Portugal, Spain and most of Latin America. Apparently, the best quality are cut from thicker cod loins (rather than the thin flattened fish mostly seen here and there). Now... from what I understand... the best I have heard comes from the Scandinavian region... namely Norway.

So.... the question is... can anyone point me in the right direction as to anywhere where I may find some? Or whether anyone knows of a good Scandinavian market in the area which may possibly carry it? Thanks a million in advance for any insight!!


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    1. re: ferret

      Thanks ferret... I had indeed found it online at La Tienda... I was hoping to find it locally though, and hoping not to have to pay 24 bucks a pound and Shipping on top of that!! I am still asking around here locally amongst some Brazilian friends... if I find a source, I will publish it here!

    2. Call first, but three places to try are Caputo's (locations at, Lincolnwood Produce (7175 N Lincoln Ave in Lincolnwood, 847/329-0600) or Graziano's (901 W Randolph St, 312/666-4587, Good luck!

      2 Replies
        1. re: mcgeary

          While I have seen it at Lincolnwood Produce in the past it was usually the inferior variety. La Tienda is expensive because the good stuff is expensive.

        2. Just an update... although I haven't gotten a chance to call the stores McGeary mentioned, I did find some salt cod at Fresh Farms in Niles. It is not as top-grade as the thick loins that sells, but they did have a good amount of decent-quality salt cod. They packaged them in either BONELESS/SKINLESS or BONE-IN/SKIN-ON and were sealed in plastic bags AND refrigerated. They were located in one of the fridges where several smoked fish products were.

          However... I did come across the cod-salting procedure in the awesome book by Brian Polcyn/Michael Ruhlman "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing" ( and so I intend to go that route!! I highly recommend that book, by the way! Thanks all for your input.

          1. You can get lovely bacalao at Devon Market on Devon Ave in Rogers Park, and at Village Market Place on Dempster in Skokie.

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