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Baccalà

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Baccalà is Italian for salt cod. Dried and salted cod, usually called salt cod, is cod preserved by salting, drying, or both. Cod which has been dried without the addition of salt is called stockfish.

Most baccalà dishes require that the fish be soaked numerous times to remove excess saltiness. It is the same word as Portuguese bacalhau, Spanish bacalao and Greek "βακαλάος", which are used in similar dishes.

Despite its name, the baccalà alla vicentina, a dish native to Vicenza, is not made from salted cod, but from dried unsalted cod (stockfish) served on or next to polenta.

In Rome, baccalà alla romana is a dish of deep-fried, battered salt-cod. Baccala is also a popular fish used on Christmas Eve by Italians, especially Italians from Calabria, located in Southern Italy.

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References

Baccalà, en.wikipedia.org

Dried and salted cod, en.wikipedia.org

Baccalà, italianfood.about.com