Why do Greeks eat cod on March 25th? - 25 March, 2016
Tradition calls for Greeks, every year on the anniversary of March 25th, to have fried cod [μπακαλιάρος, tiganitos bakaliaros] with garlic dip [skordalia] for their family dinner. The reason behind this tradition is that apart from being a National Holiday [uprising against the Turks], March 25th is also a day dedicated to Virgin Mary, therefore making it a joyful celebration amongst the 40-day fast that allows fish, oil and wine to be consumed. During Lent, the Church allowed the faithful to eat fish only twice, on Annunciation and Palm Sunday.
Cod with garlic is the traditional treat of the day, as the day has a double meaning for the Greek culture: the Annunciation [Evangelismos], and the Revolution of 1821. The explanation behind the specific choice of fish is very simple and has to do mainly with the inability of the inhabitants of the inland to have fresh and cheap fish. Despite the fact that cod is not a “Greek” fish, as it is usually found in the shores of North Atlantic, the fish can be cured, therefore making it cheap and easy to preserve.
Cod made its appearance on the Greek tables at about the 15th century, and ever since constitutes the “national” food of March 25th.
From: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/03 ... arch-25th/
In Crete they eat more often hake instead of cod, since it is available in its waters, although not so much as before.
Bakaliaros (Battered-Fried Salt Cod)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 kilo (2.20 lbs) salted cod fillet
Olive oil for frying
For the batter:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
½ cup corn flour (corn starch)
can (165 cl) beer
¾ cup cold water
½ tsp salt
A pinch of white pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg white (or replace with 1 tbsp baking powder)
2 tbsp fennel fronds (finely chopped) optional
* Cut the cod into portions, remove skin and place in a bowl and cover with water. If cod is not a fillet make sure to remove all the bones.
* Drain and change water every 3 – 4 hours for at least 24 hours before cooking.
* Drain the cod and squeeze out any excess water.
* Beat one egg white into meringue.
* In a bowl add the flour, corn flour, (baking powder instead of egg white), salt and pepper, fennel fronds, the beer, the olive oil and lemon juice and start mixing adding the water gradually, until you have a thick batter. Do not add all the water as you may not need all of it.
* Mix in the egg white and place the batter in the refrigerator for one hour.
* Dip the cod into the batter and fry on both sides in hot olive oil.
* Drain on kitchen paper.
Serve with Skordalia [garlic dip].