I have seen lots of recipes for salted cod or baccala. Is it worth the effort to put it in the frig and change the water several times a day for three days to wash the salt out. Is it really better than fresh. I live in Wis and I know that it is not cheaper
I use salt cod quite a bit and while you can sub in fresh cod, there would be a subtle flavor and texture change. Also, depending on the dish, I might only soak the cod for 24 hours with 3 changes of water.
It's a different beast, i.e., using fresh as opposed to dry salted......Personally, I do not care for it as a replacement for fish fillets whole, but added to a salad is acceptable. I prefer to make Cod Cakes mixed with potatoes and aromatics, coated with some form of breadcrumbs
It serves a different purpose. When eating fish plain, I want fresh, but for Portuguese dishes such as bacalao a gomes de sa (salt cod casserole), it's essential. I find that it has a very pleasant chewy texture.
And yes, you do have to do the soaking and changing thing. I tried to cut down on that the first time I bought salt cod, and the results were inedible.
I say 24 hours is enough if you change the water regularly. I don't refrigerate it unless it is hot in the kitchen. It is not better than fresh, it is different. And the recipes that use it depend upon that particular flavor, texture and saltiness to make the dish as it is supposed to be. I used it most for brandade and cold cakes--in neither case would fresh cod create the same dish. I now chop it in the food processor for both those dishes, it gives a less stringy texture which I like.
I love salt cod. I usually find 24 hours enough, with frequent changes, and I've gone to 48 hours, but no need for 3 days. I don't refrigerate it, just keep it in a big pot in the sink. I don't make it during summer, though. I flake it and bake it with tomatoes, black beans, and capers....sometimes sliced potato also.
i agree with fourunder - its not necessarily better, its different. you do have to soak & change, but maybe not for 3 days. 1 day wroks for me.
when i first tried it, i was underwhelmed, but over time, it really grew on me. i think if you grew up with it (i did not) you'd have a real appreciation for it.
as for the price, it used to be dirt cheap, but with the state of the cod stocks, it ain't exactly peasant food anymore.