In Brazil, Norway is known as "The Codfish's Land". Perhaps this title is true, after all the fish is found in the cold waters of Norwegian seas. I was talking with the priest who teaches me Norwegian some days ago and he said he went to fish. So, I asked which kind of fish he had fished. Guess what... He had fished a "torsk" (codfish in Norwegian). He explained me that it can be rare.
Norwegian cuisine is rich when it comes to seafood. I thought that codfish was more common as a dish than it in fact. Maybe, my thoughts are based on my Brazilian eagerness for trying a legitimate "norsk torsk" - it rhymes! Actually, since I came to Norway I think I have eaten codfish twice. Ok, I confess, at least in the two particular moments that I remembered to ask "what is it?" before eating.
During farewell occasions in Brazil, the codfish was a constant subject. Many friends asked me: "Bring me a codfish from Norway" Luckly, it was just a joke! And most of those who knew that I was coming to Norway were excited about "the mystery of codfish's head". I explain. We are used to see codfish in its salted and dried variation called "bacalhau" in Portuguese. And it is not common to see the head of the fish. So, we have something mysterious in our culture that has to do with codfish's head.
So, I came to Norway and I started my search for the fish and its head. I found some frozen - without heads - in supermarkets but it was not what I wanted. I needed some codfish alive and with the head in order to take pictures and testify this fact. It was a matter of... touristic curiosity.
The search continued - kind of silent. Last Tuesday, I visited Bergen and there I could meet a completed and proper Norwegian codfish. What to say? It is a handsome fish. It has a kind of beard and seems friendly. It is possible to find the fish in different sizes and weights. I could also know codfishes from different social status: I met some in an aquarium and some street-codfishes (they were on sale in the sidewalks of Bergen).
In the Portuguese version "Do bacalhau", you can find some videos and pictures.