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The fable of the cod and the promised sea. About Portuguese traditions of bacalhau
Marques da Silva, A.J. (2015). The fable of the cod and the promised sea. About Portuguese traditions of bacalhau, in: Themudo Barata, F. et al. (Ed.) Heritages and Memories from the Sea. 1st International Conference of the UNESCO Chair in Intangible Heritage and Traditional Know-How: Linking Heritage 14-16 January 2015. Évora. Portugal. Conference Proceedings. pp. 130-143
In: Themudo Barata, F.; Magalhães Rocha, J. (Ed.) (2015). Heritages and Memories from the Sea. 1st International Conference of the UNESCO Chair in Intangible Heritage and Traditional Know-How: Linking Heritage 14-16 January 2015. Évora. Portugal. Conference Proceedings. Electronic edition 2015. UNESCO/UniTwin/Universidade de Evora: Evora. ISBN 978-989-99442-0-6. 228 pp., more

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Document type: Conference paper

Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Portugal, salt cod, bacalhau tradition

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  • Marques da Silva, A.J.

Abstract
    While cod (bacalhau in Portuguese) occupied for centuries an important place in the diet of the Portuguese, it is also true that we cannot understand this constant presence regardless of changes in fisheries, trade networks between the North Atlantic and Southern Europe, drying techniques and the social context of consumption during the same period. This presentation revisits different kinds of old and new sources that refute the idea of a simple continuity in the consumption, fishing and drying techniques of bacalhau. Mapping discontinuities in these different historical contexts brings us to consider the collective memory built around the bacalhau as a social force, more active than ever. At the same time, this memory is itself the product of a continuous process of reinvention, selective and labile, that constantly renegotiates the place that the "faithful friend" has in the imagination of communities that claim, in one way or another, their commitment to the idea of "portugality".

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