They are never wasted! The codfish that Rosita keeps are used in a variety of ways. One traditional way which has been carried out for hundreds of years involves removing the cod viscera, beheading the cod and hanging them on large wooden racks where they are left to dry in the frosty air. They are not salted or smoked. The cod flesh does not decompose and spoil, but simply dries slowly in the sun and wind from late winter until spring. This way it still retains its key nutrients. This dried cod, also known as “stockfish”, sustained the Vikings on their long sea voyages. Pieces of this dried fish can simply be broken off and chewed.
The cod tongues, cut and fried, are a great local delicacy with a lovely gelatinous feel. A rich greasy broth of cod liver and onions is made from the left over cod livers that have not satisfied Rosita’s requirements to be used for cod liver oil production. A traditional dish which is much more common in the rural coastal northern areas of Norway than among the more urban centers is cod “mølje”. This dish is prepared by boiling the cod, cod livers and pale orange cod roe in water. These are then mixed with fresh cod liver oil and eaten. A true Viking feast! And very tasty! This dish is also remarkably rich in vitamin D. Magritt Brustad, head of department of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, studied the traditional dietary dish of mølje. She measured the vitamin D levels of fish eaters before and after having a meal of cod, livers and roes. The results were startling. Those who had low vitamin D levels had a measurable increase by eating only one meal of cod, liver and roe. When researchers studied vitamin D levels of a population in Andenes (a village in the Vesterålen district of Nordland county, Northern Norway), they discovered that they actually had equally high levels of vitamin D in the winter as they had in the summer! Holy Mølje!
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